According to the Reserve Bank of India data, banks shut down 2000 "BoI may close 700 ATMs by February; Govt, RBI junk reports on closure of any bank " 'ATMs' in various locations in the 10 months between May 2017 and February 2018. One of the reasons being cited for the shut-down is rising costs.
As on February 2018, the total number of onsite ATMs of banks had come down to 107,630 from approximately 110,116 in May 2017. Led by the State Bank of India (SBI), the number of offsite ATMs saw a slight increase. The number of onsite ATMs for SBI reduced from 29,150 to 26,505 between May 2017 and February 2018 while the number of offsite ATMs increased from 29,917 to 32,680 in the same time period.
Total 27 onsite and 317 offsite ATMs were reduced by the Central Bank of India while Canara Bank reduced 189 onsite and 808 offsite ATMs. Bank of India closed around 108 onsite and 100 offsite ATMs between the period. Punjab National Bank saw a reduction of 655 onsite and 467 offsite ATMs, according to the RBI data.
Banks are also reducing the costs of setting up and maintaining ATMS, according to a Business Standard report. Till about a few years back, an average ATM set up would cost around Rs 500,000 whereas now banks are setting ATMs for as low as Rs 50,000-60,000, a public sector bank executive told the daily.
Similarly, earlier an average ATM machine would be installed in no less than 100 sq ft whereas now, the same is being managed in spaces as less as 30-50 sq ft.
A bank executive said that banks are now rethinking on facilities within the ATMs as well like air-conditioning and a guard etc. He said that banks are looking to resort to methods like e-surveillance that will have an auto-mated alarm linked to the nearest police station.
This will allow banks to cut down costs of having a full time guard as well. In remote areas where the risks of tampering with ATMs are high, banks are opting to close ATMs at night.