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Remote surveillance systems for ATMs

Over 50,000 of the 1.62 lakh automated teller machines in India are likely to be secured through remote CCTV surveillance without round-the-clock physical security. Several banks have floated tenders for offsite surveillance and are looking at it as a more cost-effective method of safety at ATMs. However, non-availability of bandwidth is proving to be a major challenge. The decision to go for offsite monitoring is driven primarily by cost. The system triggers alarms at the control room when there are too many people in the room or if the machine is tampered. It also allows two-way communication from the command centre. As against this, having round-the-clock security could cost banks almost three times as much. An offsite surveillance system costs between Rs 4,500 to Rs 9,000 depending on the level of services that a bank chooses to avail. Leading banks that have initiated the process include State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank, and Union Bank of India. The Reserve Bank of India has also encouraged banks to put in place surveillance systems. While the RBI has not insisted on guards at every ATM, it has advised banks to try and have guards at all ATMs. Banks, however, say that under the present cost structure it is more economical to shut their ATMs at night rather than have round-the-clock security.

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