Awareness Fridays: Reconciliation of Failed ATM Transactions

by Vinaya HS on February 20, 2009

in Finance

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The other day I was trying to withdraw money from a Citibank ATM using an ICICI Bank debit card. The Citibank ATM purred along merrily but finally coughed up a “Dispenser Failure” receipt. My stars must have been aligned because ICICI Bank quickly reversed the transaction and I could withdraw the money from a different machine. One might not always be so fortunate and one might end up playing merry-go-round with the bank trying to recover one’s money.

Thankfully, the Reserve Bank of India has recently mandated a time limit for resolving such disputes. In their circular on this topic, the Reserve Bank of India says:

The use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for cash withdrawal has been increasing in the country. However, of late, we have been receiving a number of complaints from bank customers, regarding debit of accounts even though the ATMs have not disbursed cash for various reasons. More importantly, banks take considerable time in reimbursing the amounts involved in such failed transactions to card holders. In many cases, the time taken is as much as 50 days.

After examining the procedures involved in verification and resolution of such complaints, the Reserve Bank has concluded that delay of the magnitude indicated above is not justified, as it results in customers being out of funds for a long time for no fault of theirs. Moreover, this delay can discourage customers from using ATMs. Therefore, it has been decided that, to start with, banks shall reimburse to the customers the amount wrongfully debited within a maximum period of 12 days from the date of receipt of customer complaints.

The next time such an incident happens to you, you now know how to talk to your bank. By the way, you do safely keep a copy of such receipts right?

Awareness Fridays is my initiative to spread awareness on topics relevant to personal finance — every Friday. I urge you to take some time off and absorb this information — it’s pretty useful. And, as always, do spread the word if you find this useful.




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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

shilpa February 20, 2009 at 7:22 AM

Ahhh! So you are back on track.
That’s good, the step taken by RBI.

Vinaya HS February 20, 2009 at 10:30 AM

@Shilpa: Yes, I am!

Girish February 21, 2009 at 10:02 PM

Vinaya,
Upauktha Mahithi…
Keep the blogs flowing…
Girish

Govardhan March 5, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Dear Ms. Vinaya H S,
Say you’ve SBI ATM cum Debit card and you’ve 8000.00 excluding the minimum balance of 1000.00 (because you also opted for cheque book facility).
Here two scenarios:

Scenario One: You tried at SBI ATM, You entered 2000.00 rupee to withdraw. You’re presented with the message as “Please wait, While your transaction is being processed”.
But unfortunately the server(s) in Mumbai goes down because of many reasons. So, Within 30 seconds what happens is, Your ATM will keep trying to reach the server, But it fails. So you’re then presented with the message as “Sorry, Unable to process” or “Request timed out”.

But after 5 minute the servers will be up and running. And you notice that, The other customers are successfully withdrawing the cash from the same ATM. So what you do is, Again you insert your card and after successful login, You try to check your balance.
Expected Balance Must Be 80000.00 (excluding minimum balance of 1000.00)
Actual Balance You See Is 60000.00 (excluding minimum balance of 1000.00)

So, What you’ve to do is………
First keep the previous transaction receipt with you safely.
Second thing is, Just go ahead and with draw the amount 2000.00 and make your things/work get done in right time.
Third thing is, Becaue you used the same network ATM, Just wait for 24 hour time, Next day you see your account credited back with 2000.00 rupee. And you know why this happens automatically because of ACID properties. Automicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability properties of DBMS (DataBase Management Systems).

Means that, What exactly happens is, Once you’re accessing your account, Copy of the original status of your account pertaining to balance or whatever will be made and if the transaction is successful, Then the original copy will also gets updated. If the transaction is unsuccessful, Duplicate copy will get updated as per the original status. Means that, System will successfully recovers the data during the time of failure and the recoverd information is reliable.

If the amount not get credited after 24 hour, Here 24 hour means not exactly 24 hour, Suppose your time of transaction is 23:59 hr, i.e. 11:59 PM, So at this time, 24 hour means just a minute, thats it. You’ve to wait for a minute. Why because, At every first minute of the day, All unsuccessful transactions will be automatically reaches to its original states.

Fine, If the amount not get credited after 24 hour, Just wait for one more 24 hour, Means again for the first minute of the second day. Then check your balance. Definitely it gets credited back to your account.

Lets say, even after 48 hour, i.e. after 2 days also, Amount not get credited, Just go to your home branch where you opened your account and give a written complaint to the manager by attaching the transaction receipts. For safeside, Keep a copy of the receits. Parallelly you can make a call to the toll free number and register a complaint by giving all the details and make sure that you’ve taken the complaint number from the customer care executive. Otherwise, They just say that, Yes, Coplaint has been taken and we’ll follow up with this and get back to you. But you won’t get any calls later. If you’ve your complaint number, Then its the resposibility of the respective authorities to resolve your complaint in stipulated time (say hardly with in two working days and under worst cases this may be a 7 days or 7 working days – I’m not sure).

Since you lodged a complaint, Its then the resposibility of the branch manager to follow up. It takes minimum 12 working days to revert your amount back and that too this 12 days is under worst circumstances. Means that, Manager has to do his duty done with in 12 days of time. Otherwise we can appraise this information to RBI also which puts your bank manager under pressure and leaves you pleasure.

Thirdly you can send an email to sbi customer care giving all the reasons and scan copy of the receipts. You’ll be getting an automatic reply followed by one complaint number to your issue.

Scenario two: Supppose you used your SBI ATM in ICICI ATM.
Don’t wait for anyone. Just go to your home branch and give a written letter to the manager. He will take care. As per RBI, If this happens, Its the resposibility of the ICICI bank to credit back the amount to the respective account (your sbi account) with in 12 working days. And there is no need for the account holder to go to his/her home branch and give a complaint. And more over, From 13th day onwards, Bank has to pay Rs.100.00 penality per day.

Say even after 45 days also, Your amount was not credited back. Means that, As per RBI Norms, Your home branch has to pay to you the amount of Rs.2000.00 (unsuccessful transaction amount) and Rs. 3300.00 (Rs.100.00 per day and for 33 days i.e. 45 days minus 12 days (time given for the banks by RBI to credit back)), So total amount of Rs. 35000.00 has to get credited to your account from your SBI home branch.

And later, SBI has the rights to get that extra penality amount and the unsuccessful amount, So total amount of Rs.35000.00 from ICICI bank. Because its the delay from ICICI bank to credit back to your account, So as per RBI rules, ICICI has to pay Rs.35000.00 from their account. Very Simple.

Lets say, You got your amount Rs.2000.00 but after 45 days. If you’re not aware of this RBI rules, You’re in loss of Rs.33000.00. And if you’re very much aware of this, You can easily, very easily get this amount. What you’ve to do is, Just ask the branch manager, i.e. your home branch manager to credit Rs.33000.00 extra as penality and also inform him/her that, This is as per RBI norms. Simple. Manager will do that. AND MANAGER HAS TO DO. Otherwise, Just tell the manager that, You’re going to lodge a complaint again your home branch. Simple.

Next minute itself, Rs.33000.00 will be credited to your account. Because manager is not paying from his/her pocket. The same amount can be borrowed/collected from ICICI bank but not in the very next minute but within 2 to 3 working days. Simple.

So, BE AWARE OF THE THINGS.

Good luck.

Regards,
Govardhan Reddy M,
Software Test Engineer.
“Law of win says that, Lets not do it in my way or your way, But lets do it in the best way”.

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