THE automated teller machines (ATMs) of most banks remain cash-dry during the initial days of the month, every month, when it is time for people to draw their salaries. Sometimes, there is a network problem due to which the salaried class and other people face great difficulty in accessing their hard-earned money.
Those who come from a distance to these machines suffer a bit more than the rest.
Naturally, after the ATMs are refilled, one has to wait in long queues to be able to access the ATMs, which causes massive irritation to the people because waiting in a queue simply kills the very purpose for which the ATMs were planned and installed.
Another problem is that banks deduct certain charges on each transaction in case one is using the ATM of a bank in which one does not have an account. This is unfair. In all such cases, there is a set limit beyond which the customers cannot draw cash.
This is simply to make sure that the customers are unable to draw the desired amount in one go so that they may make multiple transactions, leading to multiple charges for the bank concerned.
The State Bank of Pakistan should ask all commercial banks to ensure proper and timely deposit of currency in ATM machines. It should also introduce a penalty on banks for poor maintenance of ATMs and inconvenience caused to the customers.
Mujeeb Ali Samo
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2022