The Reserve Bank of India has granted permission to operators of white-label Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to accept international credit, debit and prepaid cards.
White label ATM (WLA) are operated by non-bank entities and customers from any bank can withdraw money for a fee.
WLA operators will have an option to provide Dynamic Currency Conversion facility, as required by international cards. The conversion rate will be set as per the participating bank's authorised trading rate and the customer will see the conversion reflect in their home country currency, the RBI said.
The objective behind the white label ATM is to improve ATM availability in semi-urban and rural areas, where banks have been reluctant to set up ATMs. Currently there are more than 160,000 ATMs across the country, with more than half in cities alone.
The new rules permit WLA operators to tie-up with other commercial banks for cash supply, against the earlier requirement to depend on the sponsor bank for cash supply.
This move will also boost the Narendra Modi government's Jan Dhan Yojana, which is an attempt to provide a bank account to every Indian household. Account holders will receive a RuPay Debit card (India's domestic debit card,) enabling them to access ATMs and make payments at point of sale and for online purchases.