New Delhi, Jun 24: Non-banking entities, which have been allowed by RBI to operate ATMs on behalf of banks, are expected to open 60,000-80,000 automated teller machines in the next eight months.
"We expects 60,000-80,000 white-label ATMs roll-out in the next 6 to 8 months," a Finance Ministry official said.
This will help in spreading financial inclusion in unbanked areas, the official said.
At present, there are about 90,000 ATMs spread across the country. Of this, nearly one-third are owned by SBI Group.
So far, only banks are allowed to set up and operate ATMs in the country.
Recently, RBI permitted non-banking entities with a minimum networth of Rs 100 crore to set up, own and operate ATMs on behalf of banks.
The RBI in a notification said the automated teller machines (ATMs) operated by non-banking entities will be known as 'White Label ATMs' (WLAs).
Each of these new ATM operator will have a bank sponsoring them, RBI had said.
All services offered by regular ATMs will be available at white label dispensers as well with existing debit or credit cards issued by banks. Customers of all banks can use the new ATM network.
Non-bank entities intending to set up WLAs under these guidelines may approach RBI for seeking specific authorisation within four months from the date of issuance of these guidelines, RBI had said.
Although there has been nearly 23-25 per cent annual growth in the number of ATMs, their deployment has been predominantly in tier I and II cities.
In spite of the banks' pioneering efforts in this direction, much needs to be done, it said, adding, there is a need to expand the reach of ATMs in Tier III to VI cities.
The RBI final guidelines had said non-bank entities proposing to set up WLAs have to apply to RBI for seeking authorisation under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
Five free transactions in a month as applicable to bank customers for using other bank ATMs would be inclusive of the transactions effected at the WLAs, it had said.