Nepal | January 17, 2020

Multiple ATM failure dampens festive fervour

Himalayan News Service

Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/THT

Kathmandu, October 14

Valley denizens faced problems while withdrawing money from the automated teller machines of different banks today, as a large number of ATMs were not in order to deliver services.

Normally, transactions through ATMs soar during the festive season as people prefer to withdraw money from ATMs rather than stand in serpentine lines at the banks to withdraw money through cheques.

For instance, Rajan Chaudhary (name changed) of Chabahil, tried to withdraw cash from multiple ATMs of Nepal Investment Bank in different places, however, he was not successful in making any transaction.

Likewise, card users of Global IME Bank faced a similar problem. Ekendra Poudel (name changed) tried to withdraw money from the bank’s ATMs in Kamaladi, Mid-Baneshwor and Anamnagar, but in vain. With plans to go shopping he visited one ATM after another, however, he was left disappointed as he failed to make any transaction even from the ATM located in the bank’s head office.

Card users of other banks, namely Sanima Bank, NMB Bank and Everest Bank, also reported similar problems. Shiva Sunuwar (name changed) complained about the problem faced at Sanima Bank’s ATM in Mid-Baneshwor.

ATMs that should be kept in order 24/7 were found to be out of order dampening the festive mood of the people.

A few information technology officers of the concerned banks told THT that apart from the soaring transactions, the new currency notes that banks have put in the ATMs have led to the problem.

“The fresh notes are attached tightly and get stuck, hence at times transactions cannot take place,” clarified Bijendra Suwal, deputy general manager of IT at Nepal Investment Bank. He claimed that the bank had resolved the issue within half an hour of the problem being reported. “We also found a problem in the PIN code reader device and it was resolved promptly,” said Suwal.

Usually, ATMs are down when a link cannot be established with the server when its connection with the fibre optic cable snaps due to a fire hazard.

Another problem with the ATMs during the festive season is that they usually run out of cash due to the high number of transactions. Banks usually fail to replenish ATMs as transactions are much higher than in normal times.

Janak Sharma, CEO of Global IME Bank, said staff responsible for ATMs had been instructed to make sure that fresh notes did not stick to each other and to properly check that money got replenished as and when required.


A version of this article appears in print on October 15, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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