How Walnut mobile app can help you find an ATM that is active

Walnut mobile app can help users locate an ATM with cash and a short queue, but it poses a privacy risk


Walnut will track the transaction records on the phones (send via text messages or email by the bank after a withdrawal is made) of its 1.8 million users to figure out which ATM kiosk is functional and has cash, across India.
Walnut will track the transaction records on the phones (send via text messages or email by the bank after a withdrawal is made) of its 1.8 million users to figure out which ATM kiosk is functional and has cash, across India.

Following the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes from 9 November, people have been lining up outside banks and ATMs to exchange/deposit old notes and withdraw new notes. Unfortunately, there has been a serious shortage of cash at ATM kiosks across India, resulting in long queues and long waiting time. Pune-based money management and payment service Walnut has come up with a way to help its users find an ATM machine with cash and a short waiting time. Here is how it works:

Find a working ATM with Walnut

Walnut’s mobile app works very differently from other payment apps such as Paytm or FreeCharge. It is more of a money management app that helps users keep track of how much money they are spending and where. The feature that makes it relevant to users at the moment is Find an #ATMwithCash. It opens Google Maps within the interface and shows all nearby ATMs with or without cash.

Walnut will track the transaction records on the phones (send via text messages by the bank after a withdrawal is made) of its 1.8 million users to figure out which ATM kiosk is functional and has cash, across India. After a user withdraws money, Walnut will ask them to fill in details about the length of the queue at the ATM they used. Based on the user input, the app will highlight working ATMs that have long queues with a red pin and ATMs that have short queues with an orange pin. Non-functional ATMs will be represented by a grey pin on the map. The app provides the option to share details of a working ATM with friends, family and followers through WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

Privacy risk

While this can come in handy, it may not always give an accurate picture of the situation at an ATM, as is often the case with services that rely on crowd-sourced input. More importantly, the app will be going through your text messages, which could perhaps pose privacy concerns. But if you are facing a cash crunch, sharing your data for a short while until you are able to withdraw money is better than paying extra through debit or credit cards.

Walnut is free to download and is available on both iOS and Android devices.

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