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Free Of Fee

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Aiming to make all ATM usage free from April next year, the Reserve Bank today said banks cannot charge for balance enquiries and capped the fee for cash withdrawals at Rs 20 per transaction, irrespective of the amount and the bank where the customer holds the account.
In a circular issued to all commercials banks, RBI also said that customers would not be charged for even cash withdrawals at other bank ATMs with effect from April 1, 2009.
It said that banks cannot charge its own customers for any ATM usage, with immediate effect, while they would have to cut down cash withdrawal charges for other banks' customers to a maximum of Rs 20 per transaction by March 31 this year.
RBI said that the framework on ATM usage charges have been decided after analysing the public comments received on an Approach Paper released by it on December 23, 2007.
RBI has also asked the banks to make free with immediate effect the use of other bank ATMs for balance enquiries.
About cash withdrawals, RBI said that no banks should hike the charges prevailing as on December 23, 2007 and those charging more "shall reduce the charges to a maximum of Rs 20 per transaction by 31 March 2008." RBI has clarified that for two services -- use of own ATMs for any purpose and use of other bank ATMs for balance enquiries -- "the customers will not be levied any charge under any other head and the service will be totally free."
RBI also said that charge of Rs 20 for cash withdrawn at other bank ATMs will be "all inclusive and no other charges will be levied to customers under any other head irrespective of the amount of withdrawal."
However, banks can levy service charges, to be determined by themselves, for cash withdrawals with use of credit cards and at an ATM located abroad.
(PTI)


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