MUMBAI: It will soon be possible for bank account holders to withdraw cash from ATMs by scanning a QR code on the machine’s screen. AGS Transact Technologies, which provides ATM services to banks, has developed a solution that enables use of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform for withdrawing cash.
The UPI cash service does not require users to sign on to any new service or download any new app. All that is needed for an account holder is a subscription to a mobile application that is already UPI-enabled to get such a payment. The customer needs to scan the QR code as if he were making a UPI payment. However, instead of paying for goods or services, the money in his account is transferred to the ATM-deploying bank, which releases the cash from the machine.
According to AGS Transact Technologies CMD Ravi B Goyal, the company has already demonstrated the proof of concept. “All the banks that we have approached are excited about this,” he said.
The service is currently awaiting approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which is responsible for both the switch that controls ATM networks as well as the UPI platform. “Both UPI and the ATM networks run on the same financial switch, and UPI has been proven to be a secure transaction platform,” said Goyal.
For banks planning to deploy this on their ATM networks, there is no major investment required. “There is no change in hardware requirements. It is possible to offer the service by making a small change to the software in the ATMs,” said AGS Transact Technologies group chief technology officer Mahesh Patel. “This is superior to the present cardless ATM withdrawals as it is frictionless and takes place much faster,” said Patel.
What makes it easier for banks to use UPI for ATM withdrawals is that the second-generation version of the platform — UPI 2.0 — includes classification of recipients against merchant codes, just like in credit card payments. ATMs are also listed as a merchant category, which will enable ATM-deploying banks to recover the interchange fee from banks that are users of the network.
Currently, the UPI platform is seeing large volumes in peer-to-peer payments and is also picking up in merchant transactions. The month of November 2018 saw 52 crore transactions with a total value of Rs 82,232 crore.