You went shopping and realized you had exhausted all your cash. What would you do if you need to hire a taxi back home or buy a bottle of water for your kid? In normal circumstances, rush to the nearest automated teller machine (ATM) to withdraw some cash. You won’t need to do that anymore.
ICICI Bank Ltd, the largest private bank in the country, on Tuesday announced the launch of a facility that allows withdrawal of cash at the point of sales (PoS) terminal, an electronic retail payment device or a shop with such a device.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) first allowed this facility through a notification issued in 2009. Union Bank of India (UBI) was the first to launch this facility in rural areas with the motive of financial inclusion; ICICI Bank claims to be the first to come out with this facility. Says Vivek Mhatre, general manager, transaction banking and third party products, UBI, “We launched such a facility at least six months back in rural areas. But we did not get a great response.”
Who can withdraw, and where
RBI has permitted banks to enable this facility only on debit cards. As of now, the facility is available only for ICICI Bank customers. Even customers with cards of other banks would be able to avail the facility on ICICI Bank’s PoS terminals once their respective banks give the facility on their debit card.
As of now, the facility would be available only at select merchant establishments. However the number would increase over time. ICICI Bank did not provide any specific number of merchants where the facility will be available. In an email response, the bank’s spokesperson said, “It will be available pan-India, shortly.”
You can withdraw up to Rs1,000 per day at the PoS terminal at a shop. The best part is that you need not make any purchases from the shop where you avail this facility. If the merchant refuses to give cash, the debit cardholder can lodge a complain with the bank. It is similar to the process where a merchant refuses to accept card for purchase of goods.
The RBI circular says, “In case the facility is being availed with the purchase of merchandise, the receipt generated shall separately indicate the amount of cash withdrawal.”
The facility, however, comes at a cost. You will need to pay Rs10 per transaction as a fee. You do not have to pay the merchant on the spot; the fee will be charged by the bank and directly debited from your account.