ATMs to double as deposit collection centers

Finance minister Chidambaram today said the government has asked banks to upgrade their ATMs to double-up as cash collecting machines, so as to mobilise the Rs11,00,000 crore of cash lying with people.

State-run banks have also been asked to double the number of ATMs in the country from the current 63,000 over the next two years, Chidambaram said after reviewing the working of state-run banks and financial institutions.

"The goal is to double it in two years. I am confident they will achieve it," he added. He said upgrading ATMs to cash collecting machines would help in channelising a large part of cash lying with public in the banking system.

"People must take to banking ... Something like Rs11,00,000 crore lies as cash in the hands of people. That Rs11,00,000 crore money should not lie in hands of people, it should lie in banks," he said.

He said an increase in the number of bank branches would help attract more people to avail of the facility to deposit the money when they do not require it and draw it whenever needed.

"Now banks have been advised to quickly upgrade their ATMs to not only cash disbursing machines, but also cash accepting machines.

"Banks should also intensify door-step banking, in bazaars/markets to mop up daily collection of shops in order to mobilise the savings of the people," the minister added.