An increasing number of bank customers have started using the ATMs not only to replenish their wallets but also to recharge their mobile pre-paid connections.
The service commenced in 2005. By the end of last year, banks were witnessing around 2000 transactions per day. This year, the number of transactions has gone up three times to around 6,000 per day. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Citi Bank ATMs account for over 60 per cent of the total transactions.
Thirteen commercial banks are offering mobile top-ups to 39 million debit and credit cardholders in the country.
The banks, under an ATM sharing network called Cashnet, have made the mobile recharge service available over 14,000 cash dispensers across the country. Cashnet is managed and maintained by Euronet, a global electronic payments solution provider. Euronet has entered into tie-ups with BPL, Hutch, Airtel and Idea to sell their top-ups.
HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Citi Bank, Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, Development Credit Bank, HDFC Bank, UTI Bank, ING Vysya Bank and State Bank of India and its seven associate banks would provide the service.
“Topping up a mobile connection from an ATM enables the subscriber to top-up his cell at any time of day, anywhere in the country and for any amount. It is fast catching up in the country,” said Euronet Managing Director Loney Antony. A majority of 79 million mobile phone connections in the country fall in the pre-paid category.
According to IDBI Bank Head (alternate channels and sales) Utul Kapadia, recharging hrough an ATM is as simple as withdrawing money.
The user would have to enter his PIN and select mobile top-up service and the amount he needs to refill. Once the transaction is complete, the user will get an SMS informing him of the amount refilled. IDBI Bank registers over 2,500 sales per month.
Centurion Bank Director (marketing) Yateesh Srivatsav said, “Mobile recharge over ATMs is at its initial stage. However, it is gradually picking up as we are witnessing users repeatedly using ATMs to recharge their mobile connections”.
At present, banks are looking at offering top-ups as another value added service. At a later stage, it can be developed into a revenue stream. “At the moment, creating awareness among customers is the biggest challenge before the banks,” Srivastava said.