Banks are rapidly adopting cash recycling machines
Banks are aggressively installing cash recycling machines (CRMs) to provide faster cash deposit and withdrawal services to customers, an initiative that helps customers reduce their reliance on branches and gives them more money. freedom to conduct banking transactions.
CRMs are expected to obsolete automatic teller machines (CDMs), which only allow cash injection, and replace automatic teller machines (ABMs), which allow cash withdrawals, several bankers said.
A CRM accepts cash, counts banknotes, authenticates them, and credits the amount to accounts in real time, helping banks eliminate the manual labor required to provide the service.
The new technology also allows users to deposit and transfer money to the accounts of others. In Bangladesh, banks started implementing CRMs in 2017. Until June 30 of last year, the number of machines was 272, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank.
Since then, more than 550 CRMS have been installed.
Today, all banks have over 800 combined CRMs, and these machines are worth over Tk 2,300 crore per month.
The total number of transactions through CRMs increased more than nine times to Tk 2,325 crore in March, compared to Tk 245 crore in the same month last year. Compared with February of this year, transactions increased by 41%.
CRMs help banks manage cash efficiently, as deposited banknotes can be used for withdrawing funds by customers. As a result, banks don’t need to pump money into CRMs frequently, the bankers said.
The tool’s importance accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic, with banks discouraging customers from doing branch banking. The number of CRMs will increase in a year because many banks have taken initiatives to set up the digital tool, according to the bankers.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd, the largest lender in the segment, has already set up more than 400 CRMs and will put in place another 400 CRMs over the next year.
The move is aimed at reducing clients’ reliance on branches, an official at the lender said. The sharia-based bank introduced the technology in 2019.
Mr. Kamal Hossain, Managing Director of Southeast Bank, said his bank has installed 185 CRMs.
The lender has opened letters of credit to import another 300 CRMs, which will arrive by July.
“We will install all the machines by this year. We currently have 100 ATMs. We will gradually replace them with CRMs,” Hossain said.
The bank has prioritized installing machines in rural areas to provide banking services to disadvantaged people, he said.
Yesterday, Southeast Bank launched four CRMs, including two each in Feni and Chattogram.
Banks must invest a significant amount in the deployment of CRM: they must count between Tk 13 lakh and Tk 18 lakh per CRM. It is Tk 5 lakh per ATM.
The central bank plans to push the technology even further by ensuring interoperability.
A central banker said depositing money through the tool will be interoperable within the next three months, as the BB has taken steps to that end.
Using CRMs, customers will be able to deposit money to any bank account in real time once interoperability is available, the official said.
Likewise, retailers will benefit from the new technology as they will be able to keep their funds in their accounts at the end of the day, he said.
“The money will be safe,” the central banker said.
City Bank plans to roll out 150 CRMs this year and another 100 next year.
The bank now has around 350 ATMs, which will be gradually replaced by CRMs, said Md Mustafizur Rahman Ujjal, head of City Bank’s alternative distribution channels.
“CRMs will help customers withdraw money using the Quick Response Code (QR). This means that there will be no need to inject cards into the machine.”
City Bank now operates five CRMs. Currently, there are 12,225 ATMs in Bangladesh.