Several banks have decided to shut down ATMs located in areas of low usage at night. Two south-based private banks – Karur Vysya Bank and City Union Bank – have taken such a decision. Karur Vysya Bank will shut down 200 of its more than 1,500 ATMs at night. It is not worthwhile to keep ATMs open where there are just four or five transactions in the night, an officer of the bank said. The bank has displayed notices outside the ATMs saying they were being shut due to security reasons. City Union Bank has identified around 60 ATMs, out of 900 in Tamil Nadu, for this purpose. Indian Banks Association said at one of the recent meetings of its members, some banks had actually suggested partial close of ATMs located in isolated areas and those that did not have too many walk-ins. This suggestion was endorsed by the managing committee as many such ATMs hardly get 1-2 footfalls between 11 pm and 6 am, said an official of IBA. Meanwhile another private bank, Federal Bank has commissioned a study to decide on the security aspects of ATMs. South Indian Bank said since the bank has a full surveillance camera in all its ATMs and monitoring is done on a 24-hour basis at a centralized location, it has decided now not to shut ATMs at night. But if security agencies insist that surveillance alone is not enough, the bank would have to look at shutting ATMs in the night.
IBA had written to RBI stating that banks will take a call on which low-traffic ATMs will be closed at night. It said banks will identify machines where guards will be deployed, in addition to e-surveillance, depending on the risk perception.