BENGALURU: With the security of customers as well as their infrastructure at stake, banks still seem unwilling to post guards round the clock at ATM kiosks in the city. As guarding these kiosks is a cost that the banks do not get reimbursed for, they seem to be operating on the hope that a centralized centre would be sufficient to deal with emergencies.
According to M Mohan Reddy, convener of the State-Level Bankers Committee(SLBC), deploying guards was not financially viable. “With minimum wages in place, it is not feasible. Banks now have centralized command centres which operate 24/7 and in other cases, banks have chosen to shut down kiosks which could not be manned,” he said. Customers, however, argue that with banks charging transaction fees from ATM users, security must be guaranteed.
“It is no longer free to withdraw money from the ATMs. There is even talk of them charging us for each and every transaction carried out at the ATMs. Is it wrong to expect that we could carry out these transactions with the expectation of leaving the ATM kiosk alive and safe?,” questioned Ashish Shetty, a resident of Kammanahalli. However, these charges are not sufficient to maintain the kiosk as well as post security guards, Reddy pointed out.
“Some of them now even shut down kiosks in the night. To guard kiosks, we may need to impose some service charges on public but as of now that cannot be done. It is high time that all the stakeholders should sit and resolve the issue.”
With no easy solution in sight, the current advice for customers seems to be to stick to ATMs which are manned by security guards and located in well-lit and safe areas.