RBI hikes fee banks pay for use of other lenders’ ATMs

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has hiked the interchange fee for ATMs to Rs 17 from Rs 15 effective January 2022. The interchange, which is the charge banks pay each other when their customers use ATMs of another lender, was last revised in 2012.
While the Rs 17 fee will apply to withdrawals, for non-financial transactions the interchange will go up from Rs 5 to Rs 6. For customers, the ATM withdrawal charge will go to Rs 21 from Rs 20 if they exhaust their free transactions.
Customers are eligible for five free transactions (inclusive of non-financial transactions) every month from their own bank ATMs. They are also eligible for three free transactions from other bank ATMs in metros (five in non-metro centres).
“This will help us not only serve the customers better but also deploy additional ATMs, which are particularly needed in semi-urban and rural locations, to provide financial access and enable financial inclusion. It will also give much-needed relief to the ATM industry,” said Rustom Irani, MD & CEO, Hitachi Payment Services.
The RBI said that the decision was taken given the increasing cost of ATM deployment and expenses towards ATM maintenance incurred by banks/ white label ATM operators, as also considering the need to balance expectations of stakeholder entities and customer convenience.
The Confederation of ATM Industry said that the move will incentivise banks, management service providers and white label ATM operators to significantly increase ATM penetration in semi-urban and rural areas thereby boosting financial inclusion.