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Starting today, ATM use over 5 times per month will attract fee of Rs 20

NEW DELHI: Using ATMs to withdraw money or for other purposes like balance enquiry beyond five times in a month will attract a levy of Rs 20 per transaction from Saturday.

As per the Reserve Bank's new guidelines that comes into force from tomorrow, bank customers in six metros-- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore-- are allowed to withdraw money and/or carry out non-financial transactions like mini-statements at ATMs of banks, where they hold saving/current accounts, free of charge only five times a month.

Every transaction beyond this threshold will be charged Rs 20 per use.

Besides, the number of free transactions at ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) of non-home banks has been cut to three times a month from five times.

"Taking into account the high density of ATMs, bank branches and alternate modes of payment available to customers, the number of mandatory free ATM transactions for savings bank account customers at other banks' ATMs is reduced from the present 5 to 3 transactions per month (inclusive of both financial and non-financial transactions)," RBI had said in a notification issued in August this year.

The RBI, however, clarified that nothing precludes a bank from offering more than three free transactions at other bank ATMs to its account holders if it so desires.

The cap in the number of free ATM transactions will not apply on small/no-frills or basic savings bank deposit account holders who will continue to enjoy five free transactions.

At places other than the six metro centres, the facility of five free transactions for savings bank account customers will remain unchanged upon using other bank ATMs.

India has a total of 1.6 lakh bank ATMs across the country as of March 2014.

The new guidelines were issued in pursuance of a representation made to the RBI by Indian Banks' Association on the back of growing cost of ATM deployment and maintenance incurred by banks as well as rising interchange outgo due to free transactions.

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