The recent attack on an ATM customer in Bangalore sent shivers down the spine of its citizens. The assailant followed a woman into an ATM kiosk and brutally attacked her when she resisted robbery.
Subsequently the police department asked the banks to deploy security guards at ATMs within a stipulated time. Indian Banks Association (IBA) too took the matter up in earnest.
In a bid to ensure security to all concerned IBA came up with a solution. It directed its member banks to replace ATMs with CTMs, that is, “Cash Teller Man”. All ATMs in Bangalore have now been successfully converted into CTMs and the system has already become popular.
This novel concept involves deploying a bank clerk to sit in front of the erstwhile ATMs, with a bag of money and disburse cash to the customers. The huge machines have given way to small devices meant just for validation of ATM cards.
The transaction takes place as follows. The customer inserts the card, enters the password and the amount as was done previously. Upon seeing the machine validating the entries, the CTM hands over cash to the customer. The CTM doubles up as a security guard with a gun on one shoulder and a CCTV camera fixed to his forehead.
The back-end operation of loading money remains the same except that the money is stuffed into a bag instead of the machine. Banks too are happy with this change as they can save on the security guards’ salary. The clerks, who had anyway become redundant after computerization and could not be sacked because of union issues, can now be gainfully employed. There is also a huge reduction in cost of electricity and in the machine maintenance charges.
The only ones who seem to be unhappy are the security agencies who till now deployed teenagers or old men as ATM security guards. Facing the prospect of having to close their business, they have demanded that the guards be trained to perform the teller function. The IBA is yet to take a decision in this regard.