Railways in talks with 7 more banks for ATMs

New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
Following its agreement with State Bank of India (SBI) to launch ATMs and e-ticketing kiosks at 681 stations, the railway ministry has decided to launch the facility at 780 more stations. It is in talks with seven more nationalised banks and hopes to strike a deal with them soon.

The banks include bank of Baroda, Punjab national Bank, Indian bank, bank of Maharashtra, Union Bank of India and Canara Bank.

According to sources, the terms of the agreement will be similar to that with SBI.

The agreement will help SBI bring in revenue to the tune of Rs 10.5 crore annually, railways is likely to rake in over Rs 60 crore every year.

Banks will be charged at the rate of Rs 52,000 per square metre and the area given to them would be approximately six square metre for the ATM and 1.5 square metre for the ticketing kiosks. Unlike SBI, these banks however, will have the option of not setting e-ticketing kiosks.

While the SBI deal was primarily targeted bigger stations, these seven banks would provide ATM services at smaller stations, having passenger earnings of less than 3 crore annually. However, the banks would be allowed to provide services at the stations already covered by SBI.

Banks with greater presence in a particular area would be given preference in setting up ATMs. So Canara Bank may be preferred over other banks in Karnataka Bank, while PNB is likely to get larger number of ATMS in Punjab.

A Rail Bhavan official said, the ministry was keen to launch the facility before Dussehra so as to meet the needs of the large number of passengers traveling during the holiday season.

He added that railways wants to provide this service at 8,000 stations, for which plans would be worked out soon.