Now you can make cardless withdrawals from any bank’s ATM in India

Now all banks, ATM networks, and White Label ATM Operators (WLAO) may provide the option of interoperable card-less cash withdrawal at their ATMs. On April 8, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced its plans to allow interoperable cardless cash withdrawals across all bank ATMs in the country. Such transactions can be completed using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) facility, Governor Shaktikanta Das said in his statement after the monetary policy announcement.

Cardless cash withdrawal through ATMs is limited only to a few banks. Read on to understand the nitty-gritty of the announcement and its critical benefits for customers.

How will the interoperable cardless cash withdrawal facility work?

Only existing customers of some banks could withdraw cash without a card at their own bank’s ATM network. So, if you are a customer of, say, the State Bank of India (SBI) and want to make a cardless withdrawal, you can do so only at SBI’s ATM. If it’s not located in your vicinity, you have to go to the nearest SBI ATM. Once interoperability is implemented, however, you will be able to withdraw cash from any other bank’s ATM in your location using the UPI facility.

How will the new facility benefit customers?

Besides the convenience of making cardless withdrawals from any bank’s ATM, it will also reduce the scope for fraud, the RBI governor said in his statement. Since a physical card is not needed, instances of fraud such as skimming, card cloning, device tampering, and so on are expected to come down.

But why has RBI allowed interoperable cardless withdrawals only via the UPI platform?

The growing popularity, adoption, and ease of use of UPI facilities could have prompted this move. “As the adoption and popularity of UPI grows, the RBI is attempting to make it a more versatile payment option,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com. Until now, only funds transfers between accounts were enabled via UPI. Now, even withdrawals can be made without a debit card. “Today’s announcement opens the door for interoperability for cardless withdrawal across all ATMs of all banks. This will enable ease of transaction and further strengthen UPI as an all-around payment option,” says Shetty.

How will the process work once it is rolled out?

At the moment, not all banks offer the UPI-linked cash withdrawal facility. Here’s how it works in the case of banks that do: let’s say you have a savings account with City Union Bank (CUB). The bank facilitates ATM cash withdrawal using UPI QR code scan from select ATMs. At such ATMs, you need to choose a cardless withdrawal-QR-UPI option and enter the amount you want to withdraw before proceeding to the next page. Do note that the bank has capped the withdrawal at Rs 5,000 using the UPI mode. Next, scan the QR code on ATM using BHIM, GooglePay, or PayTm apps, or scan it using your CUB UPI scanner in your mobile app. Recheck the amount in the mobile app, enter the pin and click on pay to continue. The last step is to click on the ‘press here’ tab for the cash option in the ATM and collect your cash.

“While some banks have enabled this UPI-linked cash withdrawal facility already, it’s great to see that all banks would soon support this feature, which would further increase convenience and improve security,” says Sumit Gwalani, co-founder of neobank Fi.

What should I do if a withdrawal fails at an ATM after using this facility?

If a withdrawal fails at an ATM due to a technical glitch, but the amount gets deducted from your account, inform your bank immediately. The amount will be credited back to your bank account within seven days.

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