BENGALURU: Vociferous arguments among people in queues or with the security staff dominate the scene at ATM booths across the city now.
To get hold of additional cash, a few have hit upon a clever ploy to avoid queuing up for hours outside a bank. They use three or four cards at an ATM and withdraw the maximum limit of Rs. 2,000 in each of the cards, thereby getting hold of a decent sum on hand. Some also do favours for friends or family members by bringing their cards and withdrawing on their behalf.
Though nothing illegal about it, such tactics end up frustrating others standing in the long queues outside ATMs. The consequence is that after the cash dries up, it ends up depriving a few at the tail end of the queue of even a little money.
Sunday afternoon at the Bank of Baroda ATM near Cantonment railway station witnessed a war of words over this. The issue started when a guard manning the ATM raised objections when a customer kept on withdrawing cash using one card after another. “So many are waiting. You cannot do this,” he told that person.
A few in the queue backed him and asked the person to come out. However, a woman standing in queue raised her voice and said she had also come ready with numerous cards. “I did not come here on a Sunday morning and wait long to just withdraw `2,000. That money might be enough for you, but not for me,” she told one of those in queue.
Countering it, a young man said, “People like you do not understand other’s problems. We do not have even a little cash on hand for daily survival. If everyone does this, then some will really suffer.” This argument got some backers. The security staffer, caught between the two groups, finally permitted multiple withdrawals.
Security at receiving end
As the person in charge at ATMs, the security staffer is at the receiving end. This reporter was in queue when a staffer manning the HDFC Bank at Deve Gowda Road in RT Nagar made a loud announcement around 10.45 pm on Saturday as the queue lengthened that the machine would be shut by 11 pm. Public ignored him and continued to join the line.
When he announced a little after 11 pm that he had been directed to shut the machine, loud screams and protests were heard. He called a bank representative immediately and informed him he was switching it off. When the staffer said that he had to catch a bus and go far, the public around gheraoed him and refused to let him down the shutters and leave.
The frantic staffer made another call to the representative and informed him of the desperate situation.
A few members grabbed his phone and requested the person on the line to ensure the ATM was left open for 10 more minutes. “I will drop you to your house, don’t worry. Just keep the ATM open,” said one of those waiting outside. The shaken security guard finally had to bow to public demand and allow withdrawals for some more time.