Private sector lender DCB Bank has launched an ATM which accepts Aadhaar number and fingerprints instead of card and PIN, reports Press Trust of India. This was piloted earlier in May in Odisha. DCB Bank says that it would be extending the facility to all of its 400  ATMs across the country in the next six months.

However, this is limited only to the bank’s customers and other banks’ customers will have to use a card and PIN. Seeding the bank account with the Aadhaar number will be essential before a customer can use the facility. The bank added that Linkages between bank accounts and Aadhaar have started to gather steam following the Aadhaar Bill being passed in Parliament.  

According to a report in Mint, as of 25 May, 219 million bank accounts were opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana, of which over 100 million were linked to Aadhaar. In comparison, there were 158 million accounts a year ago, of which 61 million accounts were Aadhaar-linked.

Linkages to bank accounts had dropped following the Supreme Court’s order in August 2015, which made Aadhaar optional except for public distribution system and LPG connections. Various State governments, including Gujarat and Jharkhand along with central bodies such as RBI, SEBI, TRAI and the Pension Regulatory Authority returned to the court saying the August order had become a roadblock for people with Aadhaar to enroll in other social benefit schemes.

Not the first card-less ATM facility

This is not the first time a bank has introduced a card-less method of withdrawing cash from ATMs. In 2014, Bank of India had introduced a new card-less cash withdrawal service which allows users to withdraw money from its ATMs without having a bank account.

The service would allow any Bank Of India customer to send money to any user by using the receiver’s mobile number and a sender code via a text message, its Internet banking facility or its ATMs. The receiver can then withdraw this money from one of these ATMs by providing details like their mobile number, amount sent, sender’s code and a SMS pin sent to the receiver via SMS within 14 day.

RBI to allow more transactions on ATMs

In January, to provide more operational freedom for banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that banks can now offer all their products and services through their off-site ATMs. Off-site ATMs are machines that are set up on a standalone basis and not inside a branch. This is done to ensure that the bank reaches out to more geographical areas and that people are able to use its services even when there is no bank branch in the area.

The facilities that could be provided at off-site ATMs include deposits/withdrawals, PIN change, request for cheque books, statement of accounts and balance enquiry, among others.