‘About 47,000 ATMs have been recalibrated’

About 25 per cent of the country’s automated teller machines (ATMs), or 47,000, have been recalibrated since the exercise began last Wednesday, to enable them to start dispensing the new Rs.500 and Rs.2000 denomination bank notes, banking industry sources said.

The task force for reactivation of ATMs which was set up under the chairmanship of the Reserve Bank of India deputy governor S.S. Mundra has been tracking the recalibration process on a daily basis. Banks were asked by the task force to recalibrate 12,500 ATMs every day.

“While the first day saw 10,000 ATMs getting recalibrated, the number increased in the subsequent days and reached the 12,500 mark,” said an official familiar with the development, adding that as of Saturday, about 47,000 machines have been recalibrated.

 The Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination currency notes were withdrawn by the government with effect from November 8; these notes constituted 86.4 per cent in terms of value and 24.4 per cent in terms of volume of the total currency in circulation. The recalibration is taking place in two phases. One, at the central switch of a particular bank and two, at the ATM level.

Companies that maintain the teller machines equip them with cassettes that are configured according to the thickness and size of the new series notes.

The new notes are smaller than the ones that were withdrawn.

Month-end target

The task force aims to recalibrate all the ATMs in at least the top 30 cities of the country by the end of this month. The country has a total of 2.2 lakh ATMs.

Officials said the process of supplying currency notes from the printing presses has been speeded up and, at times, they are airlifted to reach the destination.

The presses, which are now predominantly printing Rs.500 denomination notes, are working in two shifts.

“Priority has been given to the printing of Rs.500 denomination notes now as we have adequate number of Rs.2000 notes,” sources said adding that printing of Rs.2000 denomination notes were started in September.

Source: The Hindu


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