New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India’s plan to introduce the new Rs 100 crore banknote shortly may not be fulfilled as the ATM operators industry has identified a major challenge in the process. It has come to light that a staggering Rs 100 crore or Rs 1 billion will be required for recalibrating at least 2.4 lakh ATMs in the country.
This is a major challenge for the industry as it has just finished a tedious process of recalibrating ATMs for dispensing of the newly-introduced Rs 200 denomination banknotes. Experts from the ATM industry body have clearly mentioned that the process will take some time and can take up to January next year for the new notes to be brought into circulation.
V Balasubramanian, FSS President and director of industry lobby Catmi, suggested that a total of 2,40,000 ATM machines need to be recalibrated, adding that the greater challenge is for the two different designs of Rs 100 to co-exist. “The continuity of old notes, introduction of new notes through the ATM channel and their availability will determine whether to recalibrate or not,” he told news agency PTI.
5 key features of RBI’s new lavender-coloured Rs 100 banknote
Speaking on the issue, Radha Rama Dorai, FIS managing director, ATM & Allied Services, explained that there could be chances of an “imbalance” between the supply of new notes and the withdrawal of old notes, especially in rural pockets across the country.
She said, “If the supply of the new currency is unable to fill the gap created by the withdrawal of the old currency, the dispensation of Rs 100 currency notes through the ATMs will get affected till such time the imbalance exists.”
Rs 100 crore challenge
Several people in the know-how have also suggested that the process of recalibration could cost over Rs 1 billion. The same was confirmed by Hitachi Payment Services’ Managing Director Loney Antony. He suggested that it could take up to 12 months to completely recalibrate the existing ATMs in the country.
“As the new Rs 200 note recalibration for all ATMs is still not completed, the recalibration of the new Rs 100 note could take longer, unless it is planned properly,” he told the news agency.
It may be noted that the government has been keen on replacing the existing notes to highlight the cultural heritage of India in the new series of banknotes. As of now, six theme-based banknotes have been introduced and the lavender-coloured Rs 100 is the newest addition. While the RBI said the new note would be introduced shortly, ATM operating industry has already said it would take up to a year to complete the recalibration process. The RBI also suggested, surprisingly, that all the old Rs 100 notes would also continue to be legal tender.
Listing the salient features of the note, the RBI circular said that it has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the base lavender colour scheme. It is worth mentioning that the new note will have a motif of ‘Rani ki Vav’ on the reverse side and is based on a stepwell located on the banks of Saraswati river in Gujarat’s Patan.