As the queue outside ATMs is getting larger and larger and people wait for their turn to collect cash, hectic activities are going on to transfer currency to ATMs in the city. At Okhla Industrial Area Phase-1, cash vans are parked outside one of India’s biggest vault as drivers wait for their turn to load currency for transfer to ATMs in the city. The activity at SIS Prosegur’s head office has increased ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s historic plan to demonetize with experts tirelessly working to ensure service.
On an average, the eight cash logistic firms refill close to Rs 15,000-20,000 crore daily in ATMs in the country. With a fleet of 110 cash vans in the city, SIS Prosegur takes care of 2, 500 of these ATMs. While till November 8, the cash vans made just one trip a day, these are making two-three trips now. “We have to meet the demand. With just Rs 100 notes available, we have to make more trips as the volume of cash to be transported has gone up,” said an official, according to a TOI report. The process of cash transfer is long and tedious. And there can’t be any compromise on security. It starts with banks assessing the need for cash at each ATM. This list is sent to a multiple service provider, who in turn indents it to a cash logistics firms. These firms get currency from each bank’s currency chest.
“The money from the bank’s currency chest is brought to our company’s vault at Okhla where it is stored in a currency bin earmarked for each bank. “Before storing it in the bin, the currency is counted at a cash processing centre,” the report said.
In the high-security vault, a team counts the currency. The same team is also involved in checking for fake and damaged notes which the company collects from banks, stores etc as part of its doorstep banking service. According to the bank’s indent for the day, the cash logistics firms plan movement of cash vans and take out currency from the bank’s bin at the vault. A loading sheet is then prepared with details of the driver, security personnel, amount of cash released for a particular ATM, number of notes per denomination etc.
Each cash van has a team of people who replenish close to 20-25 ATMs. “We have 110 routes,” says Sinha. Usually, these vans make one trip a day as it takes a lot of time to replenish 20-25 ATMs. But these days, they are making two trips. They have food at the workplace and go back on a second trip.
While cash vans are moving around the city to refill ATMs, a group of people sit in office to assist them in loading cash into the machines without compromising on security. “We generate a one-time combination code without which the ATM machines can’t be operated. The code is generated by the staff at the headquarters after proper verification. The
ATM vault has to be locked within time,” said an employee, explaining the process. In the present circumstances, the challenge has got bigger. With banks releasing only Rs 100 notes for ATMs, the volume of money to be transported has gone up while the value has gone down.