Frequently Asked Questions

ATM/White Label ATM

(Updated as on April 02, 2019)

1. What is an Automated Teller Machine (ATM)?

Ans. An ATM is a computerized machine that provides the customers of banks the facility of accessing their account for dispensing cash and to carry out other financial & non-financial transactions without the need to visit a bank branch.

2. What are White Label ATMs (WLAs)?

Ans. ATMs set up, owned and operated by non-banks are called WLAs. Non-bank ATM operators are authorized under the Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The list of authorised WLA Operators is available on the RBI website at the link https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/PublicationsView.aspx?id=12043

3. As a customer, is there any difference in facilities available at a bank ATM and a WLA?

Ans. For a customer, using a WLA is just like using an ATM of any other bank (bank other than card issuing bank).

4. What has been the rationale for allowing non-bank entities to set up WLAs?

Ans. The rationale of allowing non-bank entity to set up White Label ATMs has been to increase the geographical spread of ATM for increased / enhanced customer service, especially in rural areas.

5. What are the services / facilities available at ATMs / WLAs?

Ans. In addition to cash dispensing, ATMs / WLAs may offer many other services / facilities to customers. Some of these services include:

  • Account Information

  • Cash Deposit

  • Regular Bills Payment

  • Purchase of Re-load Vouchers for Mobiles (not permitted at WLAs)

  • Mini / Short Statement Generation

  • PIN change

  • Request for Cheque Book

6. What are the pre-requisites for transacting at an ATM / WLA?

Ans. For transacting at an ATM / WLA, the customer should have a valid card and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

7. What type of cards can be used at an ATM / WLA?

Ans. The ATM / ATM cum debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards, as permitted by the issuer, can be used at ATMs/WLAs for various transactions.

8. What is Personal Identification Number (PIN)?

Ans. PIN is the numeric password which is separately mailed / handed over to the customer by the bank while issuing the card. Most banks require the customers to change the PIN on the first use. Customer should not disclose PIN to anybody, including to bank officials. Customers should change the PIN at regular intervals.

9. Can cards issued by a bank in India be used at any ATM / WLA in the country?

Ans. Yes, the cards issued by banks in India may be used at any ATM / WLA in the country.

10. What is an On-Us and Off-Us transaction?

Ans. A transaction carried out at an ATM of the card issuing bank is called as On-Us transaction. A transaction carried at an ATM of the bank which is different from the card issuing bank or a transaction at a WLA is called an Off-Us transaction. For instance, if a card issued by bank A is used at an ATM of bank A then it is an On-Us transaction; if the card issued by bank A is used at a WLA or at an ATM of bank B, it is an Off-Us transaction.

11. Are customers entitled to any free transactions at ATMs?

Ans. Yes, with effect from November 01, 2014, a bank must offer to its savings bank account holders a minimum number of free transactions at ATMs as under:

  • Transactions at a bank’s own ATMs (On-Us transactions) at any location: Banks must offer their savings bank account holders a minimum of five free transactions (including both financial and non-financial) in a month, irrespective of the location of ATMs.

  • Transactions at any other banks’ ATMs (Off-Us transactions) at Metro locations: In case of ATMs located in six metro locations, viz. Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, banks must offer their savings bank account holders a minimum of three free transactions (including both financial and non-financial transactions) in a month.

  • Transactions at any other banks’ ATMs (Off-Us transactions) at Non-Metro locations: At any location, other than the six metro locations as above, banks must offer the savings bank account holders a minimum of five free transactions (including both financial and non-financial transactions) in a month at other bank ATMs.

12. Can a bank offer more number of free transactions at ATMs?

Ans. RBI has mandated minimum number of free transactions at ATMs. Banks may offer more number of transactions free of cost to their customers.

13. Is the above prescription of free transactions applicable to a Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSBDA) also?

Ans. The above does not apply to BSBDA as the number of withdrawals from BSBDA is subject to the conditions associated with such accounts.

14. My bank has counted balance enquiry at ATM in calculating number of free transactions. Why?

Ans. The above prescription of number of free transactions is inclusive of both financial and non-financial transactions at ATMs.

15. How can one know if the ATM location is metro or non-metro?

Ans. ATM installing banks have been advised to indicate clearly at each ATM location that the ATM is situated in a ‘metro’ or a ‘non-metro’ location using appropriate means (message displayed on the ATM / sticker / poster, etc.) to enable the customer to identify the status of the ATM in relation to availability of number of free transactions.

16. Are customers charged for transactions at ATMs?

Ans. Yes, customers can be charged for transactions at ATMs over and above the mandated number of free transactions (as indicated in answer to Q. 11 above). However, presently, these charges cannot exceed a maximum of ₹20/- per transaction (plus applicable taxes, if any) by his / her bank.

17. What are the charges prescribed by RBI for use of credit cards at ATMs and for withdrawal at ATM located abroad?

Ans. The service charges for the following types of cash withdrawal transactions may be determined by the banks themselves:

(a) cash withdrawal with the use of credit cards.

(b) cash withdrawal in an ATM located abroad.

18. What steps should a customer take in case of a failed ATM transaction at other bank ATMs / WLAs, when his / her account is debited?

Ans. Irrespective of use of card at an own bank ATM / other bank ATM / WLA, the customer should lodge a complaint with the card issuing bank at the earliest.

19. From where the customer can get the contact numbers for lodging a complaint?

Ans. Banks are required to display the name/s and the contact number/s of concerned officers / toll free numbers / help desk numbers in the ATM premises. Similarly, in WLAs, contact numbers of officials / toll free numbers / helpline numbers are also displayed for lodging any complaint regarding failed / disputed transactions.

20. Is there any time limit for the card issuing bank to recredit the customer’s account for a failed ATM / WLA transaction indicated under Q. No. 18?

Ans. As per the RBI instructions (DPSS.PD.No.2632/02.10.002/2010-2011 dated May 27, 2011), in case of a failed ATM transaction, the card issuing bank has been mandated to resolve the customer complaint by re-crediting the customer’s account within 7 working days from the date of complaint.

21. Are the customers eligible for compensation for delays beyond 7 working days in resolving a complaint?

Ans. Yes. Effective July 1, 2011, the card issuing bank has to pay compensation of Rs. 100/- per day for delay in re-crediting the customer’s amount beyond 7 working days from the date of receipt of complaint regarding failed ATM transactions. The compensation has to be credited to the account of the customer without any claim being made by the customer. However, in order to become eligible for compensation, the customer is required to lodge the complaint within 30 days of the transaction.

22. What is the course of action for the customer if the complaint is either not addressed by his / her bank within the stipulated time or not addressed to his / her satisfaction?

Ans. Within 30 days of receiving reply from the bank or in case of non-receipt of a reply from the bank within 30 days of lodging the complaint, the customer can take recourse to the Banking Ombudsman. The details of Office of Banking Ombudsman are available at the link: https://rbi.org.in/Scripts/AboutUsDisplay.aspx?pg=BankingOmbudsmen.htm

23. What should be done to the ATM card when its validity has expired or the underlying account is closed?

Ans. A card upon expiry of its validity or closure of the underlying account, should be cut into four pieces through the magnetic strip / chip before disposing it off.

24. How should the customer keep his / her ATM / WLA transaction secure?

Ans. Customers should observe the following Do’s and Don’ts to keep their transactions at ATMs / WLAs safe and secure :

  • Customer should conduct the ATM / WLA transaction in complete privacy.

  • Only one card holder should enter and access the ATM / WLA kiosk at a time.

  • The card holder should not lend his / her card to anyone.

  • The card holder should not write the PIN on the card.

  • The card holder should not share the PIN with anyone.

  • The card holder should not let anyone see the PIN while it is being entered at the ATM.

  • The card holder should never use a PIN that could be easily guessed.

  • The card holder should never leave the card in the ATM / WLA.

  • The card holder should register his / her mobile number with the card issuing bank for getting alerts for transactions at ATMs / WLAs. Any unauthorized card transaction in the account, if observed, should be immediately reported to the card issuing bank.

  • The card holder should be vigilant and check if any extra device/s is / are attached to the ATMs / WLAs. The device/s may be put in place to capture customer data fraudulently; if found, the security guard / bank / WLA entity should be informed immediately.

  • The card holder should keep an eye on suspicious movement/s of people around the ATMs / WLAs. He / She should be careful of strangers trying to engaging him / her in conversation or offering assistance / help in operating the ATM.

  • The card holder should remember that bank officials will never ask for card details or PIN over telephone / email. So, he / she should not respond to any such communication from anyone indicating that they represent his / her bank.

25. What should be done if card is lost / stolen?

Ans. The customer should contact the card issuing bank immediately on noticing the loss / theft of the card and should request the bank to block the card.

26. What are Magnetic Stripe cards and EMV Chip & PIN cards?

Ans. The Magnetic Stripe card stores card data on magnetic stripe present on the card while the data in an EMV Chip & PIN card is stored in a chip. The EMV Chip & PIN cards are considered to be safer when compared to Magnetic Stripe cards.

27. What is the mandate for banks for issuing Magnetic Stripe cards or EMV Chip & PIN cards?

Ans. Banks have been instructed to convert all existing Magnetic Stripe cards to EMV Chip & PIN cards before December 31, 2018. If the card holder has not got his / her magnetic stripe card replaced by an EMV Chip & PIN card, he / she should immediately approach his / her bank branch to get the replacement.

These FAQs are issued by the Reserve Bank of India for information and general guidance purposes only. The Bank will not be held responsible for actions taken and/or decisions made on the basis of the same. For clarifications or interpretations, if any, one may be guided by the relevant circulars and notifications issued from time to time by the Bank.


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