Axis Bank has beaten others like HDFC and ICICI in the number of ATMs in India, a report by Assocham, based on numbers from the Reserve Bank of India, said.
Among the private sector banks, Axis Bank has the largest ATM network in July, 2012, followed by HDFC Bank with 9709 such machines and ICICI Bank – 9366 ATMs.
ICICI is considered the largest private sector bank in India.
“Overall, the private sector banks, led by Axis Bank have gone about expanding their network through ATMs in a much more aggressive way than their public sector peers. Be it, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank or HDFC their bias and preference for ATMs is for the metro cities, followed by tier two cities,” Assocham, an industry body, said.
The State Bank of India (SBI) is expanding its ATM network in non-metro and semi-urban centers, faster than expansion in the metros, an ASSOCHAM analysis of the banking data showed.
The Punjab National Bank is the other bank which has larger number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the non-metro cities than in the metros, as per the latest RBI data compiled by ASSOCHAM.
While the SBI has 5783 ATMs in metro cities, the cash dispensing machines in urban centres other than metro cities are 7511 and 6419 in semi-urban areas. Even in the rural areas, the bank has established 2756 ATMs.
Excepting the SBI, the other banks have to go a long way before achieving the financial inclusion in the semi-urban and rural areas.
While the RBI has been expressing concerns over regulatory issues over the mobile banking, sooner or later different technology platforms have to converge and the regulators need to equip themselves to deal with new challenges and opportunities, Assocham said.
It said a large number of Indians still remain outside the banking network. It is because of lack of the organized banking that the gullible people in semi urban and rural areas fall prey to unscrupulous money-lenders.