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Indian ATM industry tells banks: you can pay for upgrades, not us

The Confederation of ATM Industry (CATM) in India has released a note calling on the nation’s banks to bear the brunt of the costs for upgrading ATMs across the country.

This follows a note from the Reserve Bank of India implying that ATMs still running Windows XP should immediately be upgraded to more modern, risk-protected software.

According to CATM, the task would mean “sizeable investments” that would rise to as much as 40% of the cost of the ATM machines themselves.

Related: NCR to tackle underbanked in India with new ATMs

As a compromise, it has recommended that white label ATMs designed and operated by third parties could shoulder the burden. Similarly, it has called for an increase in prevailing interchange rates to help third parties made the necessary investments.

“White label ATM operators are the only entities deploying ATMs in underpenetrated rural areas. With this additional cost of compliance and cash management costs, future deployments may come to a grinding halt unless interchange is increased on a priority basis,” said K Srinivas, CEO of BTI Payments and CATM spokesperson.

ATM growth in India is at “a standstill” while government initiatives have meant that card issuance continues to increase apace. As a result, the debit card to ATM ratio has spiked.

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