ATM re-calibration to see phase out of Rs 2,000 notes: Report

Rs 2,000 notes may reportedly be taken out of circulation. Efforts are underway to recalibrate over 240,000 automated teller machines (ATMs) to replace the currency note with those of Rs 500 denomination, Business Standard reported.

The largest denomination currency will remain legal tender, but would be gradually phased out of public circulation, sources told the paper.

ATMs have four cassettes (slots) for notes, each fitted for a particular denomination say Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, carrying 2,300-2,600 pieces. The recalibration exercise would entail exchange the Rs 2,000 cassette with Rs 500 ones. Banks are instead stashing the Rs 2,000 notes in their currency chests – which go into the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) vaults, the report said.

The process is likely to be completed within a year, it said. Sources added that ’till boxes are being slowly rebooted’, customers need not panic as the notes will continue to be legal tender.

The move is likely to benefit banks and white-label ATM (WLA) deployers as they earn Rs 15 per swipe and lower denominations would mean increased transactions for withdrawal of larger sums. WLAs allow private non-bank companies to institute and operate their own brand of ATMs in the country.

Lower denominations would mean banks would have to undertake more cash van trips to load ATMs and swipe pulls above Rs 10,000 are few, the report noted.