Banks in India are replenishing their automated teller machines with cash more often because of a rules change enacted last year by the country's central bank.
In October, the Reserve Bank of India ruled that consumers could make up to five free withdrawals of up to $210 from ATMs operated by financial companies other than their own bank. Previously, people could make as many free withdrawals as they wanted.
However, many banks have complained that they must pay a 38-cent fee to the ATMs' owners for each transaction, even small withdrawals.
As a result, banks increased withdrawal limits so customers would make fewer, larger withdrawals and perhaps eliminate the need to make additional withdrawals at other banks' ATMs.
"This means that the number of times ATMs are replenished increases as more and more customers will now make large transactions," the official said. "Vendors have to make additional trips, which means additional costs."
State Bank of India and HDFC Bank, both of Mumbai, have raised their ATM-withdrawal limits by almost 50%. The limits vary from $321 to $2,138, depending on the type of account. Most banks in India have a monthly withdrawal limit of $1,069 for users of regular debit cards.