Cash Withdrawals from Automated teller machine (ATM) nearly fell 50% in the month of April. One of the first full months of nationwide lockdown has affected the cash flow from ATM’s said a recent survey from Reserve Bank of India.
ATM withdrawals fell to Rs 1.28 lakh crore from the Rs 2.51 lakh crore in March, Reserve Bank of India data showed. In February, Rs 2.86 lakh crore was withdrawn at ATMs. Apart from ATM’s all other payment modes also showed a sharp decline in user transactions which lets us know how majorly the lockdown has impacted the economy of the nation.
“In the last week of March and in entire April, ATM transactions dropped hugely,” said Rustam Irani, MD & CEO, cash business, Hitachi Payments Services he continued saying “At bank ATMs, the drop was anywhere between 40-55%. For white label ATMs, it was from 58-65%,” he added. The higher drop at white label ATMs was because a number of them were deployed in rural areas and depended on bank branches in rural centers for providing the cash. The reason is one, people cannot go outside. Also, when economic activity stops people want to save money,”
Apart from ATM, even digital payments have been hit. According to the data released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the transaction via mobile wallets dropped from 8,693 crores in April to Rs.13,111 crore in March.
When the lockdown was eased, there was a little gain in withdrawals from ATM’s. “We believe that it will take a little while to get back to normal. But how quickly that little while is nobody knows.”
“I think, when economic activity returns, people will go back to earlier spending habits,” Mr. Irani added.