Reason: banks are planning to consider cities lying on the outskirts of the six metros as part of the metros and rationalise the number of free transactions (from five to three per month) with effect from November 1.
In August, the RBI had identified six metros — Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad — for the purpose of rationalisation of the number of free transactions for savings bank account customers at other banks’ ATMs.
The central bank also said that at other locations — other than the six metro centres mentioned above — the present facility of five free transactions for savings bank account customers will remain unchanged.
This reduction will, however, not apply to small / no frills / Basic Savings Bank Deposit account holders, who will continue to enjoy five free transactions.
With the RBI asking banks to determine the jurisdiction of the six metros, bankers are of the view that since cities on the periphery of the metros have also seen proliferation of ATMs such areas too should be included within the jurisdiction of metros.
Uniformity in application
According to a senior State Bank of India official, banks are jointly drawing up jurisdiction of the six metros to ensure that there is uniformity in the applicability of free transactions at other bank ATMs.
What this could mean is that for the purpose of rationalising the number of free ATM transactions Thane and Navi Mumbai will be considered as coming under the jurisdiction of the Greater Mumbai urban agglomeration (metro).
Similarly, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida and Faridabad will be considered as coming under the Delhi urban agglomeration; and Howrah, North and South Paraganas under the Kolkata urban agglomeration.
According to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data, as at September-end 2014, the number of ATMs in the country stood at 1,80,494. Of these, about 97 per cent belonged to direct member banks of the Corporation’s National Financial Switch.
Source : The Hindu