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What’s in a name?

How domestic white label ATM players plan to quench private and public banks’ thirst for a wider reach

The next time you withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM), chances are you could be doing so from a White Label ATM (WLA). These are owned by non-banking companies but vend cash through a sponsor bank. With the RBI’s approval in February 2012 for rolling out WLAs, India joins many countries globally in opening up ATM networks to companies outside of the banking network. 

The chief objective is to increase the reach of banking services to India’s rural and un-banked citizens. Of the 124,000 ATMs across India today, only 35% are in semi-urban and rural areas. PSU banks own 60% of all the ATMs in the country and with only 98 ATMs for a million people compared with 211 in China and 1,390 in the US, India ranks way below in ATM coverage. With 514.3 million transactions being done via ATMs, the RBI has put its weight behind WLAs as a faster route to make basic banking accessible to the masses.

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