Thursday, January 10, 2008

Improvising ATMs in India

We all are familiar with the acronym ATM ; Automatic Teller Machines commonly known as ATMs traditionally used to deposit and withdraw money from bank accounts. The concept of ATMs came from America to India but in India ATMs perform many functions like a wending machine, railway ticket counter,Zipp money centers and also in the field of microfinance.

The Railway Counter ATM
According to a report in "The Times of India" ,the Railways have recently introduced a new high-tech system through which passengers can procure their reserved-journey tickets from ATM counters. The railways are in the process of making an agreement with nationalised banks to install ATM counters at various stations. These ATMS would serve a dual purpose of functioning as a basic ATM and also as a virtual ticket counter!

A Wending machine?
According to economic times, India’s largest food brand Amul is set to launch 24/7 ATM (Any Time Milk) outlets. The concept is already being tried out at a few places in the state and will eventually be replicated across the country.The company believes it can provide better customer service by offering this kind of service.

Zipp Money centers
ATMs have traditionally been considered as extension of banks, but in India a bank could become an extension of an ATM!.According to the Business Standard,there would be green, carbon neutral money centres lighted by solar power, equipped with a biometric ATM, manned by two trained officials and powered with network connectivity through VSAT.The plan is to include one billion people with no bank accounts in the banking network.These are the Zipp money centres which are being introduced for the first time in the country by the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), a forum formed in 1997 and which has inclusive banking interventions as one of its key projects.

Loan Officer?
Citigroup bank has developed a biometric ATM designed for poor city dwellers that could help relieve loan officers from manually collecting loans and managing accounts, as is the norm in microfinance.
These are some of the articles I have come across in the last few months,and I wonder about the different kind of functions an ATM can perform in India. If you are aware of any other ATM functions in India, do comment on the article or send me an email at