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.