ATM service providers are fearing disruptions as they draw up plans to recalibrate the 2.4 lakh cash dispensers in the country to accommodate the new Rs 100 notes that are different in both colour and size from the old ones.
Availability of the new notes in adequate quantity coupled with a planned co-ordination between the banks and service providers is crucial for the recalibration of the ATMs and minimise the duration (downtime) they will be shut down for the exercise.
The RBI on July 19 had announced that it would shortly issue the new series of Rs 100 notes. The new notes are different in both dimension and colour to older notes.
According to industry estimates, provided all available resources such as ATM engineers and cash custodians are available, an ATM can be recalibrated in about one-and-a-half hours and the cost of recalibration is anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3500 per ATM.
“When the new Rs 500 note was introduced the old notes were withdrawn from circulation. Even Rs 200 or Rs 2000 notes were completely new notes. Since the old and new Rs 100 notes are likely to co-exist till such time the RBI completely withdraws the old notes, it would be difficult to calibrate all the ATMs to support the new notes,” Radha Rama Dorai, managing director – ATM and allied services, FIS – told The Telegraph.
The RBI has said that all bank notes of denomination of Rs 100 issued by the regulator in the earlier series will continue. However, the co-existence of both old and new notes is likely to affect the recalibration process if it is not backed by adequately available notes, resulting in more downtime, especially in the smaller towns.
“We believe that the exercise of recalibration of new Rs 100 note could take over Rs 100 crore and 12 months. As the new Rs 200-note recalibration for all ATMs is still not completed, the recalibration of the new Rs 100 note could take longer, unless it is planned properly,” said Loney Antony, managing director, Hitachi Payment Services.
“The change in dimensions will make dissemination difficult as it will not be available through the ATM channel until all the ATMs are calibrated, which is time-consuming and a very big cost,” Himanshu Pujara. managing director, Euronet Services India Pvt Ltd, said.