Sanitisation of ATMs to be major focus for banks

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New Delhi: As lockdown restrictions are set to ease, banks and ATMs are expected to draw a large number of people, requiring bank administrations to emphasise on sanitisation of ATMs and e-lobbies.

The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) in a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) document has asked banks to disinfect ATMs completely with the use of approved disinfectant mediums, among others, including the entry gates and currency chests.

In a letter to the banks, the IBA recently said: “Going forward, the government is planning to open up a lot of activities and complete lifting of lockdown in green zone areas. Hence the banks will also have to resume full-fledged services and at the same time ensure safety of the staff and customers.”

ATMs come under essential services as they cater to the the common man’s need for cash.

As the lockdown restrictions get eased post May 3, people are most likely to throng the ATMs to withdraw cash.

So, preventing them from getting infected will be of utmost importance. Banks propose to use thermal scanners on people using ATMs and also disinfect the touch points after every use.

Further, the beneficiaries of the government’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) schemes are also likely to visit the ATMs to get their entitled benefits.

The Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana, which offers the poor and the underprivileged support to tide over the coronavirus crisis, also offers benefits through DBT. As of April 22, more the 33 crore poor people received financial assistance of Rs 31,235 crore under the scheme, according to the Finance Ministry data.

Further, payments to farmers under the major flagship schemes, MNREGA and PM-KISAN, are also transferred through DBT.

IBA’s detailed document of SOP for banks outlines the precautionary measures to be taken as the lockdown is lifted or partially relaxed, whereby it has asked the banks to ensure thermal screening of people entering the branches and offices.

It has also recommended monitoring through the use of the Aarogya Setu app at the entry gates.

Among the suggestions for social distancing and sanitisation of premises, the association has suggested that employees should refrain from going to others’ seats and should bring food from home.



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