The Telegraph
Friday , March 28 , 2014
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ATMs to strengthen Srei rural link

Calcutta, March 27: Srei Infrastructure Finance has received the approval of the Reserve Bank of India to set up 9,000 white label ATMs in the next three years.

Usually ATMs carry the label of the bank; white label ATMs do not have the label of any bank — hence the name “white”. Such ATMs are present mainly in small towns and are operated by NBFCs such as Srei. A sponsor bank loads the cash in these ATMs, but a customer of any bank can use them. Some transactions are free on these ATMs; beyond a limit the operator charges a transaction fee, which is paid by the bank to the operators. Banks in turn debit it from customer account.

“Under the certificate of authorisation (from the RBI), Srei has been permitted to set up a minimum of 9,000 white-label ATMs in the next three years in rural India,” the company today said.

In its guidelines issued in 2012, the RBI had permitted non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) to set up white label ATMs. The apex bank had said since ATMs operated by banks were mostly located in the bigger cities, NBFCs could consider setting up white label ATMs (WLAs) in villages to increase the reach of financial services. This is part of the RBI’s financial inclusion drive.

Srei said in the next six-eight months, the company planned to roll out 200 such ATMs in the smaller towns as a pilot project.

The company is looking to leverage its network of over 27,000 IT-enabled common service centres (CSCs) operated by village-level entrepreneurs through its Sahaj e-Village initiative. The company said the CSCs were located in Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal, covering a population of 280 million.