ATM withdrawals are restricted in India, and withdrawing more than a specific number of times attracts a charge for the customer. The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday clarified that even transactions that failed due to technical reasons, lack of cash in the ATM, etc were also being counted in the number of free ATM transactions available to a customer.
Now, the RBI informed that any reason that the transaction is declined due to the bank, service provider or invalid PINs would not be counted as an ATM transaction. “Consequently, no charges therefor shall be levied,” the RBI said.
It also clarified other ATM transaction apart from cash withdrawal will also not count towards the free ATM transaction of a customer, and therefore, won’t attract a charge.
“Non-cash withdrawal transactions (such as balance enquiry, cheque book request, payment of taxes, funds transfer, etc.), which constitute ‘on-us’ transactions (i.e., when a card is used at an ATM of the bank which has issued the card) shall also not be part of the number of free ATM transactions,” the RBI added.
Customers are entitled to a fixed number of fixed transactions each month. Most banks allow three free transactions at an ATM of another bank, and five in the bank ATM the customer has an account in — and this is applicable in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Hyderabad. When this limit is exceeded, customers can be charged Rs 20. It was in this limit that even declined requests were going. It must be noted that some banks allow unlimited withdrawals for their customers.
In June, the RBI removed charges levied on transactions conducted through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT). The NEFT system provides for batch settlements at hourly intervals, while RTGS transfers funds from one bank to another on a "real time" and on "gross" basis. Introduced in 2004, RTGS settles all inter-bank payments and customer transactions above Rs 2 lakh. Banks charged between Rs 30-55 on RTGS and Rs 2-25 on NEFT fund transfer.