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atm

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all banks part of the National Financial Switch (NFS) to make changes to their ATMs so that they can allow customers to register for mobile banking.

“The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has since developed the mobile banking registration service / option on the National Financial Switch (NFS). After a pilot with a few banks, the service is ready to be deployed on ATMs of all the NFS member banks,” the RBI said in a notification.

The NFS is a India’s largest network of shared and interconnected ATMs developed by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology and managed by the NPCI. As of November 2015, there are 212,501 ATMs in NFS’ network which includes commercial banks, co-operative banks, regional rural banks and white label ATM operators.

The RBI also said that all participating banks in the NFS have to make changes to their ATMs by March 2016 to allow registration for mobile banking. “In addition to the above, banks should also strive to facilitate customer registration for mobile banking through other channels including internet banking, IVR, phone banking,” the RBI added.

As of September 2015, the RBI reported that there were 27.11 million transactions through mobile banking channels which was worth Rs 2660 crore.

MediaNama’s take

This is in continuation of the RBI’s more tech friendly policies to push mobile banking and it is a welcome move. But the NPCI should be looking at more additional features for ATMs on the NFS network like allowing wallet top ups. We’ve seen this kind of integration in Paytm and Bank of Maharashtra. ATMs are a more familiar technology to the masses and can act as a front to encourage more users to adopt more digital payments.

According to Reserve Bank of India’s data for May, there were 570,813,794 debit cards in circulation. The number of ATM transactions using a debit card were 636,626,458 and the value of these transactions was Rs 2.09 lakh crore.

Compare this to the number of transactions on prepaid payment instruments in 2014-15 were 314 million while the value of transactions on wallets was Rs 21,300 crore, according to to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers India, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Payments Council of India (PCI).

Interoperability on ATMs is vital for wallet players as they can leverage a network of 183,887 machines in the country, which are frequently used in a predominantly cash-based economy.