ATM withdrawals from 66 different banks have been over Rs 2.65 lakh crore in April 2018, up 22% from the same period last year, the Reserve Bank of India data showed. Moreover, the cash withdrawal in the month of April is higher than the average of Rs 2.2 lakh crore in the pre-demonetisation months. The RBI releases monthly data of bank-wise data on ATM and POS transactions.
The April data show that a total of 76 crore ATM transactions led to the withdrawal of Rs 2.65 lakh crore. In April 2017, total ATM withdrawals were Rs 2.16 lakh crore. On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address to the nation scrapped currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
However, while ATM withdrawals have increased, POS payments from debit cards and credit cards have also increased. The POS payments from debit cards in April 2018 was 45,500 crore from 33 crore transactions, up from Rs 38,000 crore from 27 crore transactions. The POS payments from credit cards in April 2018 was Rs 44,834 crore from 13 crore transactions, up from Rs 33,142 crore from 10 crore transactions.
A central bank data released earlier this month showed that cash circulation was at a record high. The currency with the public had more than doubled to Rs 18.5 lakh crore from a low of nearly Rs 7.8 lakh crore in post-demonetisation months. The Currency with the Public (CwP) is 7% higher at Rs 18.25 lakh crore at April end as compared with Rs 17 lakh crore at the start of November 2016, RBI data showed.
A PayPal study last year said, “…cash remains the preferred mode of payment across Asia, despite the fact that the region is becoming increasingly digitally connected as Internet penetration and smartphone ownership continues to rise.” It noted that that 57% of people in India preferred using cash despite a push for the digital or cashless economy.