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Soon, more White Label ATMs near you

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken some measures to strengthen White Label ATMs (WLA). There are two types of ATMs. Ones that are regulated and managed by banks, while the others are dubbed as white label ATMs.
Over the last few months, WLA have grabbed attention of RBI, which is why a new set of norms have been introduced. Because of the latest development, you can expect more WLA services around your neighborhood, as RBI is going to permit a new method for granting permission to run these ATMs. Apart from this, even billers and traders have also seen getting a major boost. A customer can use his debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards as permitted by the issuer on WLAs.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, along with MPC members, took a host of measures for boosting retail payment systems in its third bi-monthly monetary policy for FY20 announced on Wednesday. RBI said in its development note that, in order to benefit from diversification of risk as also to encourage innovation and competition, it has been decided to offer ‘on tap’ authorisation to entities desirous to function/operate/provide platforms. These platforms are White Label ATMs (WLA) including Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) and  Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS). 

RBI had been planning to give more permissions to launch WLA since last year. The development was first announced in June 2018 policy. RBI also launched a policy paper on January 21, 2019, for  public consultation on minimising concentration risk in retail payment systems from a financial stability perspective. 

After receiving feedback, RBI said, “Comments/feedback received from a wide array of individuals, public and private entities, institutions and industry associations suggested the need to encourage more players to participate in and promote pan-India payment platforms.”

Hence,  ‘on tap’ authorisation will soon be given to companies and others who desire to open WLA. Instructions to this effect will be issued by the end of September 2019.

For customers, WLAs are similar to normal bank ATMs, except that the acceptance of cash deposits and a few value added services are not permitted by RBI. 

RBI’s movement in allowing non-bank entities to set up WLA is just to increase the geographical spread of ATM for enhancing customer services especially in rural areas. 

Services offered by WLA are - account information, mini/short statement generation, cash withdrawals and PIN change. Here, WLA does not gives you service like cash deposits, regular bills payments and purchase of re-load vouchers for mobiles. 

Also services like personal loan application, paying taxes, railway ticket booking, fixed deposits investment, mutual funds investment, feeding Aadhaar card details, mobile recharge, e-verification of ITR and cardless cash withdrawal - which are also few key services offered by ATMs owned by banks, are not available for a customer in WLAs.

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