If you need to transfer money from, say, your YES Bank account to a customer of Union Bank of India, you can now do so through your debit card, by visiting an automated teller machine (ATM). Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank, Saraswat Co-operative Bank and YES Bank have come together to allow inter-bank fund transfers through debit cards.
“For this card-to-card transfer, a customer has to go to the ATM and just punch in the debit card number of the person to whom he or she wishes to transfer money. You have to type the 16-digit debit card number of that person in the ATM and the amount you want to transfer. Immediately, once you confirm ok, your account gets debited and the other person’s account linked to the card gets credited. This is an instant fund transfer,” said a senior Union Bank of India official, explaining the transfer process.
EYEING COST CUT
Initially, the amount allowed to be transferred is a maximum of Rs 5,000 a day and Rs 25,000 a month.
Aspy Engineer, president & country head (ATM management & currency chest) at YES Bank, confirmed the bank had been running this facility for its customers for a while, and the response so far had been encouraging.
“This project has been launched on a pan-Indian basis. We are getting good response and footfalls. Currently, we are not charging the customer for this service,” said a bank official involved in the process.
Earlier, some like State Bank of India (SBI) were offering such card-to-card transfers, but the facility was available only if both the receiver and the sender were SBI debit card holders.
Bankers believe more people are likely to adopt this medium for fund transfers, though they have still not started advertising this aggressively.
"We are waiting for a bank with a significant ATM network, such as SBI, to join hands for card-to-card transfers before we start advertising it aggressively," said an official from one of the banks currently allowing these transfers. Banks have been looking to reduce the number of consumers' visits to branches, so they have increased the number of services available through ATMs. For instance, as a banker explains, the cost incurred per transaction if a customer visits a bank branch is Rs 40; this can drop to Rs 10-12 if the transaction is carried out at an ATM.
However, fund transfers are allowed even through internet channels, where the cost for the bank comes further down. But the sender needs to add the receiver as a beneficiary and this process takes up to 24 hours, unlike an instant card-to-card transfer.