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Updated: November 22, 2013 00:25 IST

How safe are Hyderabad’s ATM centres?

  • Yunus Y. Lasania
Comment (3)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Walk into any ATM kiosk in the city and the first thing you will notice is a middle-aged guard and disorder among those waiting in line to draw money.

While the situation might sound harmless, consider this: the person standing behind you may be trying to note down your PIN, or may even be looking to steal your money.

The attack on a woman in Bangalore by a machete-wielding man at an ATM on Tuesday night has left many of the city’s denizens wondering how safe they were at these kiosks, especially at night.

“I stopped drawing money at night from ATMs because it is really unsafe. The security guard will always be sleeping on the floor, while someone else would be there inside. People really need to learn to wait till the person inside comes out,” says Habsiguda resident Preethi Reddy (24). She added that sometimes drunkards wait around ATMs at night, making things unsafe.

‘Arm the guards’

Private employee Ravindra Prasad feels that at least two security guards with weapons should be present at all times.

“At least a weapon should be given to the ones manning the machines,” Mr. Prasad said.

‘Security is expensive’

Security personnel, however, point out that all ATMs are insured, that thefts don’t occur regularly, so a few bad incidents do not really dent the bank’s cash. Hence, they minimise as much as they can to save money. V. Amarnath, vice-chairman of the Central Association of Private Security Industries (CAPSI), said discussions are on to enhance security measures at ATMs. Patrolling teams have been put on high alert.

“Banks such as State Bank of India, HDFC, Andhra Bank, ICICI, and IDBI have guards at the kiosks 24 hours. But a few others have personnel to man ATMs only from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.,” he stated.

A senior manager of a security agency, on condition of anonymity, said they were awaiting instructions from their clients, and the police, after which they will take up more measures necessary.

More In: Hyderabad

ATM entrance door must be access controlled through ATM cards only, there should be mechanism by which another person should not be allowed to get into ATM kiosk until the person inside comes out. In this way we can increase security system. In case there were persons who also used ATM cards to get access into ATM kiosk could be easily traced through their ATM card details present with banks. Need to also increase KYC norms.

from:  Imran Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 23, 2013 at 13:30 IST

It is high time that the Reserve Bank of India comes out with detailed
instructions to all the banks regarding how to make the ATM kiosk a
safe and secure place for the customers particularly women, senior
citizens, differently abled persons etc and that too at nights. It is
surprising to note that banks do not worry about the safety of the
customers at ATM kiosks as they feel contended that the equipment and
cash are insured. This is the direction of customer service at the
banks. Although the customers are the basis for the very relevance and
existence of banks, more often than not it is the customer who is
always at the receiving end of the banks' indifferent attitude on some
count or the other.

from:  T.N.Sethumadhavan
Posted on: Nov 22, 2013 at 18:35 IST

These incidents reflect we in India are doing things without any
serious thought. ATMs preferably must be established in a cluster.
Location of ATM is very important, Petrol bunk, Shopping centre,
police station etc. Also it must be ensured that only one person
enters the cubicle. There must be a facility to lock/latch the door
from inside before using the ATM. Banks should ensure police patrol of
the area once in three hours especially during night. We must get rid
of this chowkidars and device new ways to ensure safety. Anti social
elements must be severely punished.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Nov 22, 2013 at 08:06 IST
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