White Label ATMs (WLAs)
14th Mar, 2019
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come up with a review of operations of White Label ATMs (WLAs) in the country.
White Label ATMs
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) set up, owned and operated by non-bank entities are called "White Label ATMs" (WLAs). They provide the banking services to the customers of banks in India, based on the cards (debit/credit/prepaid) issued by banks.
The recent guidelines are as follows:
- To enhance the viability of WLAs, it has been decided to allow the WLA Operators to buy wholesale cash, above a threshold of 1 lakh pieces (and in multiples thereof) of any denomination, directly from the Reserve Bank (Issue Offices) and Currency Chests against full payment.
- The central bank has also allowed the operators to source cash from any scheduled bank, including Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks.
- Operators can now offer bill payment and Interoperable Cash Deposit services, subject to technical feasibility and certification by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
- The display of advertisements pertaining to non-financial products / services anywhere within the WLA premises, including the WLA screen, except the main signboard has also been allowed. However, the bank noted that it shall be ensured that the advertisements running on the screen disappear once the customer commences a transaction.
- The permission to WLA Operators to source cash from retail outlets, accorded vide circular dated December 30, 2016, stands repealed.
- Banks may issue co-branded ATM cards in partnership with the authorized WLA Operators and may extend the benefit of 'on-us' transactions to their WLAs as well.
- All guidelines, safeguards, standards and control measures applicable to banks relating to currency handling, and cyber-security framework for ATMs, shall also be applicable to the WLA Operators.
- This directive is issued under Section 10(2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).