atm non-functional survey of atms rbi deputy governor
A survey of 4,000 ATMs in India revealed that about a third of them are non-functional, said a top official of the country's central bank. In Picture: A RuPay sign is seen on the door of an automated teller machine (ATM) while a user is seen, at a commercial building in Mumbai September 11, 2014 (Representational image).Reuters file

A survey of 4,000 automated teller machines (ATMs) revealed that about a third of them were non-functional, said SS Mundra, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He made the revelation at an event in Mumbai on Tuesday.

"The survey results are not comforting in any way. Almost one-third of the ATMs were found to be not working at that point," AFP quoted Mundra as saying.

The survey was conducted across India and comprised ATMs of various banks. Besides non-functional ATMs, the survey also revealed non-compliance with regulatory instructions such as on display material, facilities for differently-abled, among others, he said at the event, according to the agency.

India had 1.97 lakh ATMs as of February this year, according to the RBI. Of these, 1 lakh ATMs were located on-site, or machines that are part of a bank branch.

Installing ATMs is one of the means to achieve financial inclusion, therefore non-adherence to regulatory norms is a matter of concern, Mundra said, according to the agency.

India also has white-label ATMs set up, owned and operated by non-banks.

Norms regarding free and chargeable transactions were revised last by the RBI in November 2014. 

The norms are:

  • Transactions at a bank's own ATMs at any location: Banks must offer their savings bank account holders a minimum of five free transactions (including both financial and non-financial) in a month, irrespective of the location of ATMs.
  • Transactions at any other banks' ATMs at Metro locations: In case of ATMs located in six metro locations, viz. Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, banks must offer their savings bank account holders a minimum of three free transactions (including both financial and non-financial transactions) in a month.
  • Transactions at any other banks' ATMs at Non-Metro locations: At other locations, banks must offer the savings bank account holders a minimum of five free transactions (including both financial and non-financial transactions) in a month at other bank ATMs.

Banks are free to offer more number of free transactions to their customers.