Now use any Bank’s ATM for FREE!!! Err…Really?

atm-queueIsn’t it frustrating to be waiting in huge queues to withdraw money from your bank’s ATM? Especially when the ATM of another bank, which is just a few feet away from you, seems almost empty? “Hell! Why didn’t I have an account in that bank,” I so often wonder. The only fact that holds me back from breaking my line and using the other machine is the fear of being charged extra for using the ATM of another bank. My hard earned money after all, why waste it unless absolutely critical?

But thanks to the equitable cooperative initiative by banks, looks like using the ATM of another bank is no more a sorry tale! It was announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year that starting April 1, 2009, we can access any ATM installed in the country free of charge. While I am still waiting to hear from my bank on this, my friend’s often jokingly ask me -“Could this be an ‘April fool’s day’ prank or something?” God!!! I really hope not. 😀

Read the notice for yourself and find out: RBI Notification

Having said that, I am not sure if everything will be as rosy as it seems right now. I hope I am wrong, but this process seems to have some discrepancies. A couple of days back, a friend of mine told me how he used the ICICI ATM machine to withdraw money using a different ATM card and ended up in soup. Although he got the ATM receipt reflecting the money transaction, the money never actually came out of the ATM machine. It’s been a few days past this incident but the issue still stands unresolved. Well… what can I say? This could have also been the case of a ‘bad day’ for the poor chap!

All said and done, I wonder if any of you have had similar experiences. Have any of you withdrawn money from another bank’s ATM for free (of course I’m not talking about corporate cards in this case)? Do share what you know. I’d love to dig deeper into this!

Link: RBI Notification


Quakeboy April 15, 2009

I tried and it works fine.. with some bank atms.. I guess it depends on VISA, Maestro support on the ATM Debit Card I think ?

Swati April 15, 2009

@ Quakeboy,
So, I hope you were you not charged for your transactions through a third bank ATM. Is that so?

viswanadh April 15, 2009

Yes, I tried withdrawing money from HDFC ATM with my ICICI card. It worked twice. But third time, it deducted my account balance without dispatching money. Ofcourse, that transaction was reversed the following day after filing a complaint with ICICI customer care.

Swati April 15, 2009

@ viswanadh,
I am glad the transaction was reversed that fast. 🙂 I have heard that it often takes 35 days for the correction to take place…
However, did you check if you were charged anything extra for your transaction from a third bank ATM?

CCR April 15, 2009

i have tried and withdrawn money successfully from various atms
i hv an IDBI card and i hv withdrawn money hassel free and without any charge from ICICI AXIS SBI atms well i spoke in the bank they said it is now possible provided you get a satellite link up properly from that ATM to ur bank and at ICICI it generally is clogged by many difrnt users so better not use ICICI to withdraw ur cash of any other bank use SBI becoz it has better connectivity
If u still have any problem please do use your own bank atm dnt risk it unless very urgent


Swati April 15, 2009

@ CCR,
Thanks, This might be a useful tip for all. 🙂

Jagannath April 15, 2009

Well i tried to withdraw amount from Andhra Bank ATM with my OBC Debit Card (VISA Electron) and it worked fine. thrice i withdrawn the amount and not extra charges has been charged for me.

Swati April 15, 2009

@ Jagannath,
Thanks, this is beginning to sound like good news for all of us!

viswanadh April 15, 2009


Even I’m surprised that ICICI reversed the transaction in just 12 hrs (although CC executive said it would take ~8 days).

Yes, I did check the balance and HDFC hasn’t charged me for the transaction.

Swati April 15, 2009

@ viswanadh,
Fantastic! Thanks 🙂

NAGARAJ S SHIRUR April 15, 2009

its a really good development in the banking sector, and has benefited to every one especially the poor…

thanks to everyone who bring out this one to usage.


Swati April 15, 2009

I agree. This is a really good move to encourage people to use other bank’s ATMs. This sure is going to benefit us all.

Quakeboy April 15, 2009

@Swati no that didn’t happen for me.. I have used CITI BANK ATMs many times.. and my card is SBIs

Swati April 15, 2009

@ Quakeboy,
I too tried using my IDBI ATM card at the HDFC ATM today. I got my money and I wasn’t charged for that transaction either. Phew!

Sauravjit Singh April 15, 2009

it works fine with a mastercard with most of the bank atms.I think the prob is with ICICI only.

Swati April 15, 2009

@ Sauravjit Singh,
Quite possible. If you look at it, I too have only heard of ICICI cases so far.

Deepesh Sodhi April 15, 2009

Hi Swati,

Welcome to the world of blogging.

Nice article. Guess the media is just busy covering the general elections… and this news which matters to us got missed out!

Wonder why my bank did not SMS me informing me about this free service, even though they keep reminding me of their paid services all the time.

Good to see new bloggers (You, Aditya & Puja) choosing Devil’s Workshop as their launch pad in the last few days…

Hope to read many more interesting articles from you here, in the coming days! 🙂

Deepesh Sodhi April 15, 2009

@Swati & Nagaraj (on good development in the banking sector)

Well, I agree that in the short run, it is going to benefit the consumers.

But at the same time, in the long run, this is also going to benefit the banks themselves…

In the coming months, we might witness co-owned ATMs where, for example, HDFC can tie up with ICICI to set up a new ATM in a green area… sharing the Capex and Opex of the same.

Think tanks in the Banks would definitely be planning something like this to balance off the fraction of revenue they used to earn through the transaction fee.

Anyways… “as of now…the Consumer is the king”… and we must thank RBI for this regulation… and yes… Swati for bringing it to our notice 🙂

Swati April 15, 2009

@ Deepesh Sodhi,
Thank you! You will surely be seeing many more posts from me on Devils Workshop.

I really liked some of the points you added about ‘long term benefits’ to the banks themselves. I wasn’t aware about these possibilities. Appreciate you bringing this up and sharing it with all of us here.

Hash April 16, 2009

Wait till Mulayam Singh forms the Govt. ATMs will be banned and RBI dissolved. Karishma Beer labels (with a sleazy picture of Karishma Kapoor) will be the new currency 😛

Swati April 16, 2009

@ Hash,
Hahaha… ROFL! 😀

CCR April 21, 2009

@Swati my pleasure n welcome to bloggers world 🙂

@others this is not just strategy of the bank its more of a move towards Consumer is king movement. At a point of time when almost every bank in the world is collapsing this gimmick is a flex of muscle by the Indian Banking system which is still going strong.

Well for the knowledge of a few the type of card hardly matters. Its just a name which hardly does any wonders other than giving you minor privileges like consumer points and priority at some places that’s it. So if its visa mastercard or any other card its function would be the same in an atm or even the payment machine.

Ram April 30, 2009

I was in a soup when i withdrew cash for my SBH card on both CITI Bank and ICICI ATM’s. Transaction charges of Rs 50.00 each were levied on each transaction. As of today the amount has not been refunded. The Branch, when contacted say that they have no written directive on this and needs to be followed up week after week.
Hopeless Govt that cannot control Private Banks looting the hard earned public money…

Devp June 19, 2010

I’m confuse about the SBI security. 6 day before i checked by balance and it say a withdraw of Rs 24000/- where as i did not withdraw any such money for any atm. I also notified the branch manager about that matter but he say you withdraw the money today i also search on the web about that matter and another issue i found like that.