Customer Service in ATM transactions

RBI has issued circular dated 1st August 2013 regarding enhancement in customer service in ATM transactions. Some new features have been brought into force in this set of instructions to banks. They are:

1) Message regarding non-availability of cash in the ATM should be displayed prominently in the ATM even before the customer initiates the transaction i.e. before he inserts the card in the slot. Many a times we insert the card in the slot but no money comes out and we have to only guess that there is no money in the ATM – so to avoid the guessing work RBI has mandated that information be prominently displayed at the ATM regarding non-availability of cash. This is a good move by the RBI.

2) The ATM Id should be displayed somewhere on the ATM. This is to facilitate the lodging of grievances by customers quoting the ATM id. In the absence of the ATM id, the customers had to give the address of the ATM where it is located. ATM id makes it easier for the bank to locate the ATM.

3) Banks may pro-actively register the mobile numbers/ e-mail ids of the customers to send out alerts to them. I thought this was essential rather than discretionary so RBI should have insisted on this rather than said “may pro-actively”. Today almost everybody who has a bank account does necessarily have a mobile phone and in most cases also an e-mail id.

4) RBI has introduced the concept of time-out sessions i.e. each transaction will have a time out session where within a stipulated time which will be a reasonable time, the transaction will be timed out and if the customer has not finished the transaction by that time, then he has to afresh initiate the transaction. I feel RBI has to proceed carefully in this direction because many ATM users are senior citizens, ladies, physically or mentally challenged persons or functionally challenged persons for whom carrying out transactions may take some time. Therefore the fixing of time limits for time out sessions should be carefully done and reviewed from time to time. I feel many customers may find this process to be cumbersome if they have to keep on re-entering the transactions again and again.

Other instructions are routine in nature. The copy of the circular can be found at http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=8286&Mode=0

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