State Bank of India on Tuesday said it would add up to 5,000 ATMs in FY15. A Krishna Kumar, deputy managing director at the bank, said the addition to the existing network would help improve the ratio of debit cards to ATMs in the country.
“If we take the debit card population, for every ATM , SBI has about 2,500 cards,” Kumar said. He added that other banks have a ratio of 1,500-1,700 per machine. Due to this, there are long queues at SBI ATMs, and customers go to other banks’ ATMs located nearby to save time, and SBI gets charged for those transactions.
Currently, customers are allowed five free transactions a month at other bank ATMs, but at the backend, the bank pays for every transaction a customer has made at another bank’s ATM.
At the end of FY14, SBI had 43,515 ATMs and it paid an interchange fee of R991 crore to other banks as the number of its customers using other bank ATMs was more than customers of other banks making use of the SBI network.
On charging customers for transacting on other banks’ ATMs, Kumar said that the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has written to the Reserve Bank of India seeking clarity on the issue.
“IBA has made a request with the RBI to rationalise the charges, especially in the Metros and urban areas. What we are looking, at least in metro and urban areas, is that there should be no free transactions,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, on the branch expansion, Kumar said it would add up to 1,000 branches this year. The bank will also focus on scaling up its network of point- of-sales machines, he added.
fe Bureau | The Financial Express
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