India’s vast ATM network is set to get a major facelift.
The Reserve Bank of India has announced a timeline for the country’s vast ATM network, which constitutes close to 200,000 ATMs, to migrate from accepting mag stripe cards to accepting chip and PIN based cards. The mag stripe ATMs, the bank said, made them vulnerable to breaches.
In a statement, RBI asked banks and white label ATM operators to upgrade their network to support EMV chip and PIN cards by September 30, 2017. New ATMs, the bank said, shall necessarily be enabled for EMV Chip and PIN processing from inception.
The bank’s decision comes after it carried out a test operation on 4,000 ATM machines.
“Survey results are not comforting in any way. Almost one-third of the ATMs were found to be not working at that point. Violation of regulatory instructions on display material, facilities for differently abled etc. were also observed,” said RBI’s deputy governor S Mundra. “We will be taking necessary supervisory action in this regard.”
In the last decade, India has seen its ATM network grow in leaps and bounds. In 2007, the country had about 27,000 ATMs as compared to 200,000 in 2016. The surge comes against a growing middle class and extensive financial inclusion initiatives by the government and banks to include the legion of the country’s unbanked population.
“Raising customer awareness on safe usage of such channels should also be an important item on the agenda of the banks,” he added. “Let me mention here that RBI is already examining whether to issue regulatory directions with regard to limiting the liability of customers on fraudulent transactions arising out of cards and electronic banking transactions.”