People may voluntarily agree on withdrawal caps: SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya

SBI with BSNL is developing a mobile app for feature phone users through which they can do small transactions, Bhattacharya said.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published:December 2, 2016 4:12 am

With people across the country queueing up at banks on Thursday to withdraw their salary amid reports of severe cash crunch, State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said that customers may voluntarily agree for a cap on withdrawals.

Bhattacharya, here to attend the ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave said that she has not received any reports of untoward incidents on Thursday. “The lines are long, but at least 40,000 out of our 48,000 ATMs are dispensing cash. It is to be expected,” she said.

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Bhattacharya said while branch managers in some banks may be fixing cap on withdrawals due to cash crunch, there were reports of customers voluntarily agreeing to caps so that more people can be serviced. “It’s not true that banks are putting caps, but people are doing self-restriction,” she said.

Elaborating on the push towards a cashless economy, she said SBI, in collaboration with BSNL, is developing a mobile app for featurephone users through which they can do small transactions. The app would be released by the first half of December, she said.

Bhattacharya said the bank has recalibrated almost 70 per cent of total ATMs in the country for the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. Bhattacharya said SBI has received a very large order of PoS machines after demonetisation drive. Till demonetisation was announced, we had around 40,000 PoS machines. We withdrew 20,000 inactive PoS from shops. We have given orders for 1.5 lakh new PoS machines,” she said.

Similarly, the bank was planning to add a significant number of bank mitras to the existing 56,000 in the country for quick financial inclusion.