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Handy solution for cash remittances

N. Ravi Kumar
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Banks want to popularise cash deposit machines

At a time trade and business are worried about the Model Code of Conduct coming in the way of their routine cash movements, a solution may lay with cash deposit machines (CDM) that many banks seek to popularise.

An automated, round-the-clock solution for remittances – like what ATMs are for withdrawals – the machines can be handy, especially for businesses whose daily cash generation is heavy. It is the trade’s apprehension of their cash movements to banks coming under the watchful eye of the election authorities that can push the case for CDMs.

“These machines offer multiple benefits, are eco-friendly too since deposits slips are not needed,” says an official of State Bank of India. The bank has 145 CDMs in Tamil Nadu and is planning for 30 more by this month.

Unlike ATMs that can be used by customers of any bank, CDMs are only for those holding accounts of the same bank. A maximum of Rs.50,000 could be deposited per transaction. Axis Bank says as per RBI guideline, “you may deposit Rs.49,950 per account per day if your PAN number is not recorded with the bank.” With PAN, any amount many transactions are permitted, sources in banking industry add.

Since the objective is to minimise cash on hand, CDMs in commercial hubs can make a difference. With awareness levels seemingly low, officials of banks agree the Model Code could work in favour of the machines. Cash above Rs.50,000, when moved without supporting documents, is liable to be seized by the election authorities. While chambers of commerce and trade bodies cite various instances, what is interesting is that even a nationalised bank felt the heat when several lakh rupees transported from Thiruvannamalai to Chennai came under the EC scanner.

One reason for less awareness is that most of the machines are onsite – located in bank branches. “It is a good idea”, Chennai region HPCL Dealer Association president Geetha Mathew says about CDM, adding “petrol bunks will be discussing about it soon.” SBI official says there are no additional charges.

A senior official of a nationalised bank says CDMs come in two versions. One of them priced around Rs.3 lakh requires manual intervention in certain scenarios, especially when depositor and the machine differ on the sum deposited. The other variant is fully automated, costs Rs.10-12 lakh and can be used round the clock for accepting and dispensing cash. Banks could not, however, go for the dual, economically viable option as RBI does not allow recycle of money.


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