Axis, HDFC, ICICI to charge 150 after 4 cash transactions

Axis, HDFC, ICICI to charge Rs. 150 after 4 cash transactions

Some banks, including Axis, HDFC, ICICI Bank, have begun charging a minimum amount of Rs. 150 per transaction for cash deposits and withdrawals beyond four free transactions in a month.

The new charges would apply to savings as well as salary accounts effective from today, leading private sector player HDFC Bank said in a circular.

Axis, microstat

The bank would also cap the third party cash transactions at Rs. 25,000 per day, while cash handling charges would be withdrawn effective today, the circular added.

In case of several banks, including ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, these charges came into effect early in January and are same as they were before the demonetisation move announced on November 8, while there is an increase in such fees in case of some others, including HDFC Bank, from Thursday onwards.

These charges are for cash transactions in the branches, and not through ATMs. The move was seen in some quarters as aimed at discouraging cash transactions and furthering the digital payment drive.

For the basic no-frills accounts, maximum four cash withdrawals would continue to remain free and there would be no fees for cash deposits.

According to details on ICICI Bank website, there will be no charge for first four transactions a month at branches in home city while Rs. 5 per thousand rupees would be charged thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs. 150 in the same month.

The third party limit would be Rs. 50,000 per day. For non-home branches, ICICI Bank would not charge anything for first cash withdrawal of a calendar month and Rs. 5 per thousand rupees thereafter subject to a minimum of Rs. 150.

For anywhere cash deposit, ICICI Bank would charge Rs. 5 per thousand rupees (subject to a minimum of Rs. 150) at branches, while deposit at Cash Acceptance Machine would be free of charge for first cash deposit of a calendar month and Rs. 5 per thousand thereafter.

ATM intercharge charges have also been re-introduced. At Axis Bank, the first five transactions or Rs. 10 lakh of cash deposits or withdrawals would be free and charged at Rs. 5 per thousand rupees or Rs. 150, whichever is higher.

It could not be ascertained whether the public sector banks have also begun imposing such charges. When contacted, a senior official said there has been no directive from the government to the banks regarding levy of such charges.


ATM Cash withdrawal limit hiked to Rs 10,000 per day

Cash withdrawal limit from ATM hiked to Rs 10,000 per day, current account limit raised to Rs 1 lakh per week

Cash withdrawal limit from ATM hiked to Rs 10,000 per day, current account limit raised to Rs 1 lakh per week

In a major relief for the common man post the demonetisation move, the Reserve Bank of India on Monday raised the cash withdrawal limits from ATM to Rs 10,000 per days from the existing Rs 4,500.

The hike in withdrawal limit comes with immediate effect, the Reserve Bank of India said in a statement.

However, cash withdrawal through cheque for saving bank accounts have been retained at Rs 24,000 per week.

The RBI also hiked the cash withdrawal from current accounts to Rs 1 lakh per week from the existing Rs 50,000.

As per the RBI statement, the limit on withdrawals from ATMs has been enhanced from the current limit of ₹ 4,500/- to ₹ 10,000/- per day per card (It will be operative within the existing overall weekly limit).

The limit on withdrawal from current accounts has been enhanced from the current limit of ₹ 50,000/- per week to ₹ 1,00,000/- per week and it extends to overdraft and cash credit accounts also, the RBI further stated.

However, there are no changes in the other conditions with the Reserve Bank stating that the relaxations as provided in our circular dated November 28, 2016 will continue.

Following the demonetisation move announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, the RBI had limited the cash withdrawal from ATM at Rs 2,500 which was later hike to Rs 4,500 on New Year’s eve effective from January 1, 2017.

-January 16, 2017, New Delhi


Banks to remain open this weekend

Banks to remain open this weekend

Having junked 86 per cent of total currency in circulation with the demonetization decision, government today sought to assuage anxious public saying Banks and post offices would start giving out high denomination replacement notes from tomorrow even as it expanded the list of exempt public utilities.

It also ordered banks to remain open full day on Saturday and Sunday to deal with the rush of people wanting to deposit the defunct currency bills. Besides, many banks would work extra hours tomorrow and the day after.

Besides, it expanded the list of areas where the withdrawn notes will be accepted till November 11 midnight. They include payments for metro rail tickets, highway and road toll, purchase of medicines on doctor prescription from government and private pharmacies, LPG gas cylinders, railway catering and ASI monuments entry tickets.

A 72-hour relaxation for use of such notes was given yesterday for government hospitals, railway ticketing, public transport, airline ticketing counters at airports, milk booths, crematoria/burial grounds and petrol pumps.

Banks and ATMs were shut today to remove old Rs 500/1000 notes and stock them with lower denomination and new hard-to- fake Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes. Banks will open tomorrow as RBI has sent truckloads of new notes throughout the country, while some ATMs will begin dispensing cash.

“Through RBI’s currency chest, adequate currency is (being) provided in all banks and post offices. But it would require 2-3 weeks for full adequate replacement. It would begin tomorrow morning,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here.

Withdrawal limitations – Rs 2,000 a day from ATM per card and Rs 10,000 through bank account on a day and Rs 20,000 in a week, will continue for some time, he said. “As and when more currency comes into banking system, there will be a rethink on those limitations.”

Officials said that while honest tax payers as well as housewives and farmers with genuine savings have nothing to worry if they deposit old currencies in their bank accounts and take out replacement ones, tax authorities would keep a close watch on high-value deposits made from illicit sources, black money or crime money.

Housewives, farmers and those whose annual income is within the tax exemption limit may not be hounded by tax authorities for depositing up to Rs 2.5 lakh of the now- defunct higher denomination currency notes in bank accounts.

“It should be clear that it is no immunity scheme. This (deposit) does not provide any relief from taxation. The law of land will apply (on source of fund),” he said. “If the money is legitimate which had been previously withdrawn from bank or earned legally and saved and had been disclosed, there is nothing to worry about”.

-09 November 2016 | PTI | New Delhi

ATM security breach: Banks block over 32 lakh debit cards

ATM security breach: Banks block over 32 lakh debit cards; Govt seeks details

ATM security breach: Banks block over 32 lakh debit cards; Govt seeks details

In a move to safeguard their customers from any financial fraud in the wake of unprecedented ATM security breach, various public and private sector banks led by state-run State Bank of India have either recalled or blocked over 32 lakh debit cards.

Bankers said the recalled cards include those that have been replaced as a ‘pre-emptive measure’, while in many cases the customers have been asked to mandatorily change the PIN and other security numbers to resume using the blocked cards.

While there were some reports about certain cards, affected by security breach, having been used fraudulently abroad including in China, bankers appeared putting the blame on a payment services provider that manages ATM network of a private sector bank.

State-run SBI is said to have re-called around 6 lakh cards, while others like Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Central Bank and Andhra Bank have also replaced debit cards of several customers as a pre-emptive measure.

Among the private sector players, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Yes Bank have asked customers to change their ATM PINs. HDFC Bank also advised its customers to use its own ATMs for carrying out any transaction.

The suspected security breach happened through a malware in the systems of Hitachi Payments Services, which serves ATM network of Yes Bank.

Hitachi provides payment services through ATM services, point of sale services (POS), emerging payments services and banking channel products like cash recycling ATMs and auto passbook entry machines.

Yes Bank sought to distance itself from the breach and stressed on need to police service providers in a better way.

“There needs to be a lot more vigilance where there are outsourcing partners to make sure they don’t endanger the delivery and system risk, and there’s a fair amount of policing as far as outsourcing risks are concerned,” Yes Bank chief Rana Kapoor told reporters.

Hitachi Payment Services, however, maintained its system was not compromised, citing interim report by an external audit agency appointed by it.

According to bankers, the breach took place in such a way that anyone using the said bank’s ATMs in the region might stand to get affected.

Concerned over the issue, the Finance Ministry has sought details from banks as also the additional steps that need to be taken to avert such incidents.

According to the Ministry sources, the Department of Financial Services has sought information about implication of such data compromise from Indian Banks Association.

Seeking to calm worried card users, the Finance Ministry also said that debit cards are completely safe and there should be no room for panic.

“Only about 0.5 percent debit card details were compromised while remaining 99.5 cards are completely safe and bank customers should not panic,” Department of Financial Services Additional Secretary G C Murmu told PTI.

Meanwhile, a Finance Ministry source said, “We have got information from SBI that PIN (Personal Identification Number) related with few debit cards has been compromised and the bank is in the process of replacing it with new card in secured manner.”

The bank has taken measures to ensure safety of data, the source added.

In a statement, SBI said, “Card network companies NPCI, MasterCard and Visa had informed various banks about a potential risk to some cards owing to a data breach. Accordingly, we have taken precautionary measures and have blocked cards of certain customers identified by networks.”

SBI’s Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Manju Agarwal said the data breach took place between May and July, but was discovered only in September and so the bank decided to proactively change the cards.

“As soon as we came to know financial data being stolen, we asked our customers to change the ATM pin numbers. Despite instructions only 7 percent of the customers changed their pin numbers. At that point we decided to recall cards as we did not want our to customers to be at any risk,” she said.

She, however, declined to give the number of debit cards the bank has recalled, but sources said it was around six lakh cards. SBI has issued nearly 20 crore debit cards.

An Axis Bank spokesperson said, “The bank has proactively reached out to the affected customers and advised them to change their Debit Card PINs. The Axis Bank ATM network is fully secured and customers should ideally use Axis Bank ATMs to change their Debit Card PINs.”

SBI said its systems have not been compromised and its existing cardholders are not at any risk.

The bank is in the process of issuing new cards at no cost to those whose cards have been blocked, and it is an industry incident and not an SBI only incident, it added.

Another state-run bank’s chairman and managing director said, “As soon as we came to know about the security breach, we replaced debit cards of those customers which we thought were at high risk. We replaced around 3 lakh debit cards.”

Bankers said some of their customers reported about suspicious transactions, which took place in China, from their international debit cards.

“There was some compromise of data and when the bank came to know about some suspicious transactions which had taken place overseas. We have already completed the process of recalling the card,” Bank of Baroda Executive Director Mayank Mehta said.

The bank has verified its internal switch system, softwares and is also checking offsite ATMs, he added.

Central Bank’s Executive Director R C Lodha said, “A few customers came to us about unauthorised transactions from their cards in China. These customers do not even have passports. We have replaced such cards.”

The debit cards which were affected included of Visa, Mastercard and RuPay.

In a statement issued today, Visa said, “It has been informed that some payment cards in India may have been compromised due to suspected breach of payment systems at a service provider. We also note reports that some of these affected accounts have been fraudulently used for overseas transactions.”

“Visa does not currently process domestic debit ATM transactions in India, however we are working closely with all networks and our financial institution partners to support with investigations,” it said.

Mastercard said its systems have not been breached.

“At Mastercard, safety and security of payments is a top priority for us and we are working on the investigations with the regulators, issuers, acquires, global and local law enforcement agencies and third party payment networks to assess the current situation,” it said in a statement today.

Hitachi Payment Services’ Managing Director Loney Antony said some of the banks to whom the company provides payment services, had reported such unauthorised transaction towards end of July. It had then conducted an internal enquiry which did not find any security breach.

In September, the banks again reported about suspicious transactions to the company after which an external audit agency was appointed.

“We had appointed an external audit agency in the first week of September to check the security of our systems for any breach or compromise based on a few suspected transactions that were highlighted by banks for whom we manage their ATM networks. The interim report published by the audit agency in September does not suggest any breach or compromise in our systems,” Antony said.

He said the final report is expected by mid-November.

Post this incident, while some of the banks like SBI have re-called around six lakh cards, others like Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India and Andhra Bank have already replaced their debit cards as a pre-emptive measure.

Some of the lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Yes Bank have asked customers to change their ATM pin numbers.

HDFC Bank also advised its customers to use its own ATMs for carrying out any transaction.

-October 20, 2016 | PTI | Mumbai/New Delhi