Empty ATMs to get more costly for banks

Update: December, 13/2014 - 10:25
Customers withdraw cash at a Military Bank ATM in Ha Noi. Banks must closely monitor cash balances and restock ATMs to prevent them from running out of money during the holiday if they don't want to be fined. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI (VNS) — Banks whose ATMs run out of money will be fined VND15 million (US$702) under a Government decree that took effect yesterday.

The decree raises fines for administrative infringements in the monetary and banking sectors, with some penalties reaching billions of dong.

Bank leaders said that the decree would benefit customers and provide a wake-up call to financial institutions about the necessity of improving their ATM systems.

Vietcombank has 2,125 ATMs nationwide, which serve over 9 million ATM cards.

A leader of the bank told Viet Nam News Agency that the replenishment frequency of ATMs depended on their location and doubled or tripled during Tet. In busy spots, populous residential areas or industrial parks, ATMs were refilled four or five times faster.

The leader said that Vietcombank implemented an observation system to supervise ATM activity, as well as an automatic alert system for machines that run out of money or break.

Vietinbank employed staff round-the-clock to ensure cash replenishment and inspect ATMs for issues.

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has asked credit institutions to ensure ATM networks and systems are operational as demand for cash grows over the New Year and Tet.

Banks must closely monitor cash balances and restock ATMs to prevent them from running out of money during the holiday.

Banks have also been asked to facilitate salary payments to ease pressure on the ATMs.

The SBV advised banks to co-operate with point of sale providers to deal with unexpected issues.

The SBV also warned companies and customers to be cautious with increasing crime towards the year-end.

The SBV has asked its branches nationwide to instruct local credit institutions to ensure ATM services and security, and make sure the machines are topped up to meet customer demand.

There are currently 68.8 million ATM cards nationwide and nearly 16,000 ATM machines, mainly of the Vietcombank, VietinBank, Agribank and BIDV. — VNS