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ATM CHALLENGES IN INDIA: POWER, ENVIRONMENT AND SECURITY
Just like prepaid mobile phone services changed the way people talk, automated teller machines (ATMs) changed the way people transact. However, India still lags behind in reach and technology in this space compared with other emerging as well as the developed countries. Navroze Dastur, managing director (financial services), NCR Corp. India Pvt. Ltd, a company which manufactures and manages ATMs in India, talks about the developments made so far in the space and what’s in the pipeline. The company has been in India for 17 years and has around 45% market share of the ATM business here, according to Dastur.How have ATMs caught on in the Indian market?
It has been a cash-and-dash market largely, which means people go to ATMs mostly to withdraw cash though an ATM machine can be used for various other functions. For instance, we recently rolled out a system where a customer can walk up to an ATM machine and deposit cash and immediately get credit. It is different from envelope deposit which most ATMs have. This is very useful for retailers who collect cash throughout the day as Indian economy is mostly cash-driven.
Then, you can use ATMs to print or update your passbook. Apart from that, you can also make utility bill payments. Though the technology has been there, banks do not encourage such transactions mainly to curtail long queues...
"Modi village" is Varanasi's new hot spot
Narayan Patel is a busy man these days. Apart from attending to scores of journalists coming from all over the place, he has to take care of the needs of visiting government officials, foreign delegates, representatives from civil society, company executives, scientists and researchers. The de facto Pradhan of Jayapur village in Varanasi district, however, does not mind this sudden change in his life, as “his village” has become part of history after the prime minister decided to adopt it as part of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
Jayapur, with a population of a little over 4,200, was like most other villages before Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopted it on November 7. Other than a primary school, the village is short of any amenity a decent habitation should have. A primary health centre is a few kilometres away, the nearest railway station is at a distance of 10 km, secondary and tertiary education centres are miles away, electricity is conspicuous by its absence most of the time and there is nothing called a working public transport system.
“Ab sab kuch badalne wala hai (everything is going to change now),” exudes Patel, with nearly a dozen villagers nodding in agreement. Anticipating achche din, villagers are about to make lifestyle changes. Serving visitors with “sugar-free sweets” is one of these. “Do not worry. You can have them without any apprehension,” a villager sitting near Narayan Patel told us, while serving a plateful of kaju katli...