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ATMs may accept cash directly

If the recommendations of a government-appointed committee on automated teller machines (ATMs) are accepted, besides dispensing notes, the machines may soon start accepting cash directly.

Chandralekha Mukerji        Print Edition: January 2012

ATMs
If the recommendations of a government-appointed committee on automated teller machines (ATMs) are accepted, besides dispensing notes, the machines may soon start accepting cash directly.

The ATMs to be deployed by the banks will come equipped with a cash acceptor, which will accept currency notes of denominations between Rs 50 and Rs 1,000.

At present, ATMs accept cash in an envelope, which is manually credited into the depositor's account. Therefore, it takes a day or more for the money to appear in the bank account. The new cash deposit feature will speed up the process. Moreover, the machines will be programmed to automatically retract the notes left behind by customers. The committee, which was led by Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, has also suggested that these ATMs have solar powered back-up and a surveillance mechanism in place for better safety.

The committee has suggested that ATMs must have an internal camera, which should store digital images of the users and be able to stamp the transaction information on these images. When we contacted Jhunjhunwala, he confirmed that the initiative came from the finance ministry and the recommendations are with the financial services department of the ministry.

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