Rajahmundry: Bank ATMs' erratic ways raise concern

Rajahmundry: There seems to be no relief for people wanting to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs). Customers have been facing various problems lately while trying to get cash. While problems like the machines running out of cash make costomersfeel let down, the worse seems to be malfunctioning. Recently, a customer visited an ATM kiosk of Karur Vysya Bank located on Bommuru-Balajipeta road in Rajahmundry to withdraw Rs 2,000. He however received a bill of insufficient funds.

He thought there was insufficient cash in the bank account and moved away. He then wanted to check the balance in his account  and returned to the ATM machine. Therehw saw Rs 800 were withdrawn from the account and the notes were in the tray to be collected. The customer was shocked as he never tried to withdraw cash.

This happened during night time and the bank would be closed. So he did not take it up with the bank officials. He is still puzzled as to how the cash was withdrawn from the account. He said if he has not returned to the kiosk to check balance, the amount Rs 800 might have been knocked way by someone else. However, a message was sent to the registered mobile of the customer saying Rs 800 was withdrawn. At another ATM of a private bank, the machine was displaying the word 'processing' continuously when the customer wanted to withdraw cash and he had to stop it after waiting for a long time. Finally, no cash was withdrawn. 

Gone were the days when people could trust ATMs to withdraw cash at their own will and the kiosks used to be maiunained well in air-conditioned areas and operational 24x7. There would be a security man watching closely and helping customers to form a queue line and withdraw cash in an orderly and quick manner. The situation seems to have changed now completely. Many a times, the air-conditioners would be functioning. There would be dirt including crumpled bills all over the floor. Doors to kiosks, if at all they are there, remain open always as they are damaged. 

At the ICICI main branch in Rajahmundry, a large number of customers were waiting in queue to deposit cash in the machine. The bank officials advised customers who intend to deposit bulk amounts to visit the counter to deposit cash manually. As the customers reached the counter, a board was put up saying 'No Network'. The bank official informed the customers by saying that he would accept their cash and try to deposit in their account and in case he failed to do so, the customers need to come back to the bank again and collect their cash.

He asked the customers to mention their mobile number on cash deposit slip so that he could call them back if he failed to carry out transaction due to network problem at the bank. After one-and-half-hour, the customers received SMS on their mobiles about deposit of cash. The customers were critical against the banker for failing to facilitate online cash transfer instantly.

East Godavari lead bank manager B.V. Subramanyam said, "We admit there are some issues pertaining to functioning of ATMs mainly shortage of cash, network error, malfunctioning and also maintenance of air-conditioning, cleanliness and security at kiosks. We will advise the bankers to set right the lapses for the benefit of customers."

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