The non-availability of ₹2,000 denomination currency notes in the banking system has prompted commercial banks to reconfigure the cassettes of cash dispensers in automated teller machines so that they can hold lower denominations, reported Business Standard.
Large ATM manufacturers say only about 15-20 per cent of ATMs have the ₹2,000 denomination cassette, which was configured during the demonetisation exercise of 2016.
There are about 220,000 ATMs managed by different banks, apart from 31,500 white-label ATMs as of March 2022.
Industry players said the unavailability of ₹2,000 notes is the reason why cassettes of most ATMs have been reconfigured.
“The ₹2,000 note is not easily available. There are only some banks which still prefer to load a cassette with ₹2,000 notes. Only at ATMs where cash dispensed is very high does a bank load the ₹2,000 denomination,” informed an industry source.
The ₹2,000 notes in circulation peaked in 2017, when 3,285 million pieces were in circulation, constituting 50.2 per cent of the total value of currencies.
By the end of March 2022, only 2,140 million pieces of ₹2,000 denomination currency notes were in circulation, or 13.8 per cent of the total value of notes.
According to an executive at another large ATM network, the denomination of notes to be dispensed at any ATM depends on the bank. The bank decides the denomination of notes it wants to refill at any given location. That depends on the currency notes it receives from the Reserve Bank of India.
“If banks decide not to load ₹2,000 notes, the cassettes have to be reconfigured.
We have not received any large requests from banks or service providers to reconfigure the cassette that dispenses the ₹2,000 denomination because of unavailability. The revalue ration is done as a normal field activity as and when required,” said the official.
While the share of ₹2,000 notes has fallen, the share of ₹500 notes has increased, constituting 73.3 per cent of the value of currency in circulation as of March 2022.
According to industry players, the ideal mix in the absence of ₹2,000 notes is two cassettes with ₹500 and one with ₹100 and the other with ₹200. However, many banks load three with ₹500 and one with ₹100 or ₹200. Few banks still load ₹2,000 notes at some ATMs, where the amount of cash dispensed is very high. ATMs have four cassettes; one cassette can hold ₹2,200 currency notes.