Vijay C Roy
Chandigarh, February 8
Bank account holders will soon be able to withdraw cash from their neighbourhood shop without visiting an ATM kiosk or using the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS), micro-ATM or POS machine. The innovative system aims at eradicating the use of hardware for cash withdrawals. All you need is a smartphone.
How will it work? Once a customer sends the cash withdrawal request on its mobile banking app, an OTP will be generated by the bank. The customer can take this OTP to any nearby merchant partner who will feed the OTP into software on his phone, processes the request and hand over cash to the customer after it is approved by the bank. The platform is offered by Chandigarh-based fintech startup Paymart India Pvt Ltd. The company has already entered into a tie-up with four banks — IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank and Karur Vysya Bank — and 4,000 merchants to offer this service across the country. While the service has been successfully launched with IDBI Bank, the company is likely to start a pilot with other banks soon and expects a nationwide launch in a phase manner from next fiscal year. It plans to have 5 lakh merchants on board by the end of this year. Amit Narang, founder & CEO, Paymart India, said, “A swift and simple OTP-based process ensures complete security for cash withdrawals.”
Quick and easy
- Send cash withdrawal request on mobile banking app & generate OTP
- Give OTP to merchant partner, who will feed it into an app on his phone
- After approval from bank, shopkeeper to hand over cash to customer
Despite the traction observed in digital payments, cash still continues to drive a majority of transactions in India. Withdrawals from ATMs continue to surge, but their low penetration and accessibility in semi-urban and rural areas is a cause for concern. The distribution of ATMs across India is erratic with majority of these concentrated in metros, and tier 1 and tier 2 cities). There are around 16 machines per lakh people.
Narang said the virtual ATM services would help banks improve efficiency in cash management services, reduce cost and enhance overall customer experience.
Cash still rules
- India world’s largest cash economy, also most ATM-deficient
- Has around 2.2 lakh ATMs for a population of 1.35 billion
- Rs 30L cr currency in circulation; Rs 20K crore fed into ATMs daily
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