Digital payments platform PhonePe is launching PhonePe ATM, a facility that will allow PhonePe customers to withdraw money from stores in their neighbourhood. PhonePe is first piloting the new service, which is currently underway in Delhi/NCR, that will enable neighbourhood stores to act as ATMs for the company’s customers.
PhonePe says that the problem it is looking to address is customers being inconvenienced due to the unavailability of banking ATMs in their vicinity, or ATMs being out of order or short of cash.
With this facility, a PhonePe customer in need of cash can open the PhonePe app, go to the ‘Stores’ tab and click on the ‘PhonePe ATM’ icon to locate nearby shops offering this facility. Once they reach the nearest shop, customers just need to click on the ‘Withdraw’ button and transfer the required amount to the merchant via the PhonePe app. Once the amount is transferred, the merchant will give the customer the cash equal to the amount transferred.
There will not be any charges for customers or merchants to avail of this service. The withdrawal limit for customers will be the same as the limit set by their respective banks.
“The PhonePe ATM allows customers to withdraw cash without any hassle through our trusted merchant partners. It also helps merchants avoid the hassle of storing cash and making multiple trips to the bank branch to deposit their extra cash. Additionally, this new launch will also drive more footfalls for our merchant partners. PhonePe ATMs are a great way to start getting consumers and merchants to start adopting UPI payments in large numbers,” Vivek Lohcheb, Head of Offline Business Development, PhonePe said in a statement.
This comes after RBI data in May 2019 showed that the number of ATMs in the country decreased over the past two years. India also reportedly has the least number of ATMs per 1 lakh people among BRICS countries.