Earlier this week, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced launching a new series of 100-rupee notes. However, the move has brought along a fresh headache for the major companies engaged in the manufacture and supply of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country.
Like the new post-demonetisation Rs 2,000, Rs 500, Rs 200 and the new Rs 50 notes and Rs 10 notes, even the new lavender-coloured Rs 100 is a tad smaller in size compared to the blue-coloured Rs 100 notes currently in circulation.
The dimensions of the new banknote, according to the RBI’s notification, would be 66 mm x 142 mm, significantly smaller than the existing one, which measures 73 mm x 157 mm.
“This means that all the 237,000 ATMs in the country would again have to be re-calibrated to dispense the new Rs 100 notes. This entails a massive effort which is both time-consuming and adds to our costs”, said Director V. Balasubramanian, a representative of the Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMI).
This is the fifth new banknote size to be issued by the central bank since demonetisation in November 2016, and is different from the sizes of both Rs 200 and Rs 2,000. The production of the new notes has already started in Devas and will start in other mints as well, a senior government official said.
“We believe the exercise of recalibration for new Rs 100 notes could cost over Rs 1 billion and take 12 months,” Loney Antony, managing director, Hitachi Payment Services, said, adding the process could take longer if not managed well.
India has among the lowest ATM penetration globally, averaging 8.9 ATMs per 100,000 population, compared to Brazil’s 119.6, Thailand’s 78, South Africa’s 60 and Malaysia’s 56.4.