Hyderabad reeled under an ATM cash out yesterday after most of the ATMs within the City ceased to dispense cash. Here’s how.
Hundreds of customers had a harrowing time last evening with most of the City ATMs going dry of cash. It had also led to a virtual law and order situation where in several places fuming customers were having verbal duel with security guards.
While the perceptive reason for the blackout was the strike by security forces, experts say a prolonged problem like that of yesterday could be due to more than one reason. A source said, “Banks outsource cash to an intermediate agency who fills up ATMs in the City. CMS is a cash replenishment agency. The normal procedure of cash filling in ATMs begins a day earlier which is called Day+1 loading.” It has been long known that CMS, a cash replenishment agency, has been handling over 60 per cent of all the banks’ cash replenishment needs.
A daily movement of Rs.400 crore has been recorded through the Cash Drop and Pickup operation of the agency. Statistics show that the agency caters to over 570 outlets in the City. The source believes that there could be more than one reason behind yesterday’s blackout. “It was either a technical problem or a “Cash Out” scenario because of no cash released from banks; or other management problems with the replenishment agency.”
This is the second time that the agency has made news. In April 2012, there was a cash embezzlement fraud that was unearthed at CMS as eight custodians from the agency, reportedly made away with Rs.2.6 crore.
Some banks save the day
However, a few banks made emergency cash deposits into ATM’s in areas like Somajiguda, Punjagutta and Khairatabad. Nationalised banks and a few private banks were most affected. “We are reviewing the situation,” says a branch manager of a private bank from Banjara Hills.
But customers question why the banks do not have apps to inform the customers. “How do they expect us to go about without any money when they charge such high interest rates? No bank has bothered to inform us about this situation,” says Bharadwaj Rangan, a customer of a private bank at Lakdikapul.
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