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Finance ministry not in favor of charging for ATM services

The finance ministry is apparently not favoring the suggestion of Indian Banks Association to charge bank customers for ATM services as it feels this will only increase the cost of servicing the customer at the branch level. Rajiv Takru, secretary, Financial services, said the ministry would prefer ATM services to be free. If banks make these services expensive then customers will probably end up at the bank windows and a teller service is far more expensive than ATM service, he said. At present, banks do not charge any fee from their customers for service provided at their own ATMs. Also, as per an RBI rule, in a month, a customer can avail five free transactions, including withdrawal of cash and balance inquiry, from the ATM of any other bank. IBA maintains that that the cost involved in managing ATMs has risen sharply and so it should be passed on to the customers.

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