IADs hope central bank review will revive India's white label ATM market
India's independent ATM deployers are counting on a review of white label ATM guidelines by the Reserve Bank of India to deliver a jolt to the nation's flagging IAD market.
When RBI launched the white label ATM initiative in 2012, India's finance ministry expected to see the addition of 30,000 to 60,000 independently operated machines within less than a year. Five years later, the market has yet to reach the halfway mark on the low end of that forecast — according to the report, India has only 14,000 WLAs currently in operation.
The reserve bank hopes that a comprehensive review will explain why WLA installations are failing to meet its expectations and what the central bank can do to prompt a more robust WLA sector, according to a report by Economic Times.
At least one deployer believes the answer is already clear. "One of the major reasons is the low interchange fees for ATM transactions," Sanjeev Patel, CEO of Tata Communications Payment System, which operates Indicash branded terminals, told Economic Times.
Another reason is last year's demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes, which comprised 86 percent of the nation's currency supply.
Following the surprise move, ATM operators were for months unable to obtain adequate stocks of cash for their ATMs. The shortage was especially pronounced in rural parts of the country — exactly the areas RBI wants to reach with its WLA initiative.