ATMs adding to mental agony

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Mar 2017 10:40:27

Business Reporter,


Mar 4,

INSTEAD of dispensing currency, Automated Teller Machines (ATM) across Raipur nowadays are spreading anguish among the customers.
While Raipur is in phase of transformation to a ‘Smart City’, the defunct or cash starved ATMs and even e-banking kiosks, which are also a part of this transition period, do not practically seem to contribute to it. As banks are not improving their ATMs, the most affected section is their respective account holders, who are forced to hop from one ATM to the other just to withdraw their own money that too spending on different means of transportation in the process. While this scribe visited ATMs from posh Avanti Vihar covering main thoroughfare to the highly secured and sensitive Shankar Nagar area on March 3 between 1pm to 3pm, nearly 95 per cent of the ATMs installed by government undertaking banks displayed of being out of order and almost cent per cent of them being in unhygienic condition. In comparison, all ATM kiosks of different private banks showcased the branding like their branches and administrative offices. Besides, cleanliness and maintenance, regular availability of cash and other services upto the defined level, hardly seem to have motivated the government undertaking banks to be at par.

During visit to different ATMs on stated routes, the shutter of ATM belonging to State Bank of India (SBI) near the Shiv Temple at Avanti Vihar was down, followed by the other SBI ATM indicating of being temporarily out of order and its companion ATM of Punjab National Bank unable to even express the regret and displayed dark screen, near ATM Chowk. Later, a Canara Bank ATM informed it was running out of cash and move 500 meters ahead, there is a SBI branch near Gitanjali Nagar having its ATM few yards from the branch also had its shutters down.

Similarly, a SBI ATM at Jeevan Apartment near Shankar Nagar Chowk was out of order while Union Bank, HDFC and ICICI ATMs in the
same premises were in service for
the customers. A little away from Jeevan Apartment, a PNB ATM in the premises of Madan Mahal complex (Shankar Nagar) was also out of order.
How sensible the government undertaking banks towards their customers can be gauged from the fact that SBI Shanti Nagar branch having attached ATM was out of order and is shabbily maintained.

Similarly, ATM attached with Federal Bank Shankar Nagar branch (Kushal Vatika premises) had no funds and is situated close to the SBI Shanti Nagar branch.
On the other hand, ATMs belonging to ICICI and HDFC banks at Shri Tower (Shankar Nagar) was found well maintained and were dispensing cash. In the series of non-servicing ATMs, the Baroda Non-Stop 24X7 Banking kiosk attached to Bank of Baroda branch close to Shankar Nagar railway crossing had a slip pasted stating ‘Out of order’.

The overall outcome just speaks volume of Government Undertaking Bank customers are mostly at the receiving end in terms of ATM services. These sections mainly consist of lower middle class to the lowest working community members etc.

Meanwhile, On the condition of anonymity, a senior official of the leading bank informed that there was shortage of cash few days back. But cash has already arrived on March 2 and the ‘cash-crunch’ issue is resolved. Though very few, the banker accepted defunct ATMs attributing it to connectivity failure, miscreants are damaging it using quick fix, chewing gum etc resulting in jammed keyboards.