After HDFC, ICICI and Axis bank’s recent announcement that customers have to pay 150 rupees if they do cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month, there comes another customer friendly move from the banks. Those who spend more than 1 minute inside bank ATMs, they have to pay ‘extra’.
“It will be a ‘nominal’ charge of five rupees for every extra second they spend inside the ATMs in non-peak hours. In peak hours which is morning 8 to 11 AM when people go to office and evening 5 to 8 PM, when people return back home, many use ATM. For that period, we will have dynamic price mechanism which will be in the line of premium tatkal pricing that Indian railways follow,” said a Bank official who wanted to remain anonymous.
When we asked what is customer friendly about this charge, the bank official said, “Some people simply pass time inside ATMs taking advantage of the free AC we provide inside. They do more so in summer, do not think about those who would be standing outside in long queues. With this charge in place people will complete their job quickly and will make way for others”.
“It’s high time our customers should understand we pay rent for the rooms where we install ATMs, huge electricity bill and maintenance cost for AC and UPS. We did multiple trials to check how much time a normal person will take to ATM transaction. Our conclusion was 1 minute is more than sufficient”, said the bank official.
When we asked what next, bank official said, “We are planning to give five cheque leaves for free, beyond that we will charge as per the characters we print on the cheque leaf. After cashless, we have to move towards paperless transaction”.
Anuj Saxena, wanted to ask few questions to customer helpdesk person. After checking Anuj’s account balance, she said, “Sir, as per the current rule those who have more than two lakhs like you, they can ask two questions for free”. Anuj asked one question “how to close the account”.