It is rightly said that “There’s no such thing as a Free Lunch” & ATM usage is a classic example.
A couple of months ago, there was a huge hue & cry about how now you could access through any Bank; in fact I had tweeted saying this is going to be a service problem & could not last. In fact whilst the going was good also, there were many service issues.
There were substantial increase, nearly 25% in the number of ATM transactions since 1st April 2009.
Banks ideally should have upgraded their systems, but that means money which they were unwilling to invest, besides in India, consumers are last priority, so there!!!
For the uninitiated the following process, with minor variations is followed by two different banks for the ATM usage:-
An Kotak Bank ATM card holder swipes his card at an HDFC bank ATM, where the ATM links to its own network to verify card. On confirmation, transfers requisite data to the Bank switch, which then connects to its banking network, thereby processing the transaction. Then there is the handshake between the two banking networks before the cash is spat out.
And all this is in 30-45 seconds. A lot of it does not work, due to hardware, software, connectivity incompitability, whereby you are left without cash & searching for another ATM.
So instead of making life simpler for the consumer, the Banks now have come up with another offer – More than 5 transactions & you would be charged 20/- per transaction – brilliant, nobody will notice, life will continue as it is.
But I fail to understand, why does the premier bank not do anything about this? Do they not understand or wish to ignore the consumer plight?