White Label ATMs (WLAs) in India – Clarification on Cash Handling


As on date, only Tata IndiCash WLA has gone live. The other players are various stages of roll-out

To speed up the opening of WLAs across the nook and corner of India, Reserve Bank of India, today vide its Circular has clarified on a bothersome operational aspect.

The Original WLA Circular is DPSS CO PD No. 2298/02.10.002/2011-12 dated June 20, 2012 which laid down guidelines for non-bank entities to set up, own and operate White Label ATMs in the country.

RBI has been receiving certain queries on some of the provisions of above mentioned circular. In particular, the issue relating to the perceived restrictions on cash handling prescribed in Para A.4 of Annex B of the above circular “…..At no point of time, the WLAO or his agents shall have access to the cash at the WLAs”has been raised in the recent meetings held with authorized WLAOs and select banks to review the progress made so far in operationalization of WLAs.

The rationale behind the instruction quoted above was to ensure that the cash sourced from the sponsor bank only is loaded into WLAs, thus ensuring quality / genuineness of the notes. However, subject to the sourcing requirement discipline as stated in the aforesaid circular, taking into consideration the difficulties expressed by stakeholders in operationalizing the WLAs, last sentence of Para A.4 of Annex B to circular PSS CO PD No. 2298 / 02.10.002 / 2011-12 dated June 20, 2012 reading as “At no point of time, the WLAO or his agents shall have access to the cash at the WLAs” stands withdrawn with immediate effect.

Other instructions given in the circular remain unchanged.

QUOTE

Cash Management at the WLAs will be the responsibility of the Sponsor Bank, who may if required, make necessary arrangements with other banks for servicing cash requirements at various places. While the cash would be owned by the WLAO, the responsibility of ensuring the quality and genuineness of cash loaded at such WLAs would be that of the Sponsor bank. At no point of time, the WLAO or his agents shall have access to the cash at the WLAs.

UNQUOTE

With the above clarification it is expected that the WLA roll-out will speed up.

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