White Label ATM’s guidelines were released by Reserve Bank of India, in June 2012. Subsequently, few companies applied to RBI seeking a licence to operate WLA’s in India.
12 companies have received the license to operate WLAs in India. Some of the companies are Tata Communications, SREI Infrastructure Finance, Vakrangee Software, Prizm Payments and AGS Transact.
The full list of the 12 companies is not yet published on the RBIs website. 7 companies were granted license in December 2012 and the remaining 5 in March 2013.
As per the initial guidelines the licenses are valid for 1 year. However, the successful firms are now saying that current one-year validity is too less to earn revenue.
The same feedback was given by the companies to RBI at a recent meeting between RBI officials and the license company officials.
As per the RBI guidelines, the white label ATM providers can pick up one of three schemes (A, B and C) depending on the rural to semi-urban ratio of ATMs proposed.
It is understood that majority of the operators have opted for ‘Scheme A’ which favours opening ATMs in rural areas, as per the guidelines laid out by the RBI.
The new players feel 1 year is too less a period to get their act together and earn reasonable profiles.
To ensure the smooth rollout of WLA ATM’s, Reserve Bank of India is exploring the option of increasing the licence period for white label ATM providers to five years from one year.
It may be noted that WLA operators are allowed to charge their customers as per the banks’ charges.
It may be noted that currently banks are not permitted to charge customers for the first five withdrawal transactions from another bank’s ATM. Above that, banks levy a fee of Rs 15 for cash withdrawal and Rs 5 for balance enquiry.
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