Hard Cash Day 11: Why are ATMs running out of cash so soon?
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Hard Cash Day 11: Why are ATMs running out of cash so soon?

City Spidey gives you the low-down on the situation and when people can expect things to return to normal.

Hard Cash Day 11: Why are ATMs running out of cash so soon?

The demonetisation is in its 11th day, but Noida ATMs still do not have enough supply to meet the demands of the cashless residents, who are growing increasingly desperate.

Residents, queuing up in front of ATMs for hours on end, say the machines run out of currency even before they can step inside. Noida bankers spoke to City Spidey about the various reasons why ATMs are running out of cash so soon.

The most obvious reason is the heavy rush and the high demand for 100-rupee notes, say bankers. They make yet another valuable point: People are hoarding 100-rupee notes, and hence daily cash transactions have taken a hit, greatly impacting the flow of cash in the market.  

Furthermore, only the slots meant for holding 100-rupee notes are working, while the others — meant to hold the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 — are empty. An official of Yes Bank in Noida elaborates, "The ATMs are equipped with four cash slots. Two for 500-rupee notes and one each for Rs 100 and Rs 1,000. The capacity of these slots vary from machine to machine. The slots for the new Rs 2,000 notes is a hardware issue, which will take time to be solved."

Another important reason for the crisis is the slow flow of money into banks from RBI.

Sandeep Shrivastava, a resident of Sector 40, Noida, said, "I make most of my payments with cards, but you do need cash for daily needs." He had queued up for cash at the HDFC ATM in Sector 16, but it soon ran dry. "I will have to go again," he said, not looking too hopeful.


A website that provides information on the availability of cash in ATMs captures the state of affairs perfectly on November 18


ATMs of IDFC Bank, which were filled up on the evening of November 17, were running dry by early morning the next day. Similarly, officials of HDFC Bank in Noida said ATMs that were filled in the evening had become cashless by 10 the next morning.

Another official said work on recalibrating the ATMs so they can dispense Rs 2,000 notes had already started. However, when asked about how much time it would take to recalibrate all the ATMs, most said it depended on the third-party agencies that were maintaining the ATMs. They should be ready by the second week of December, feel many.