Cash Recycler Machine in Nepal; Are Nepalese Customers Ready For this Technology?

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With banks like Prabhu Bank and Nabil Bank introducing a cash machine, Nepal has also got a new upgrade in the banking system. Recently, Nabil Bank’s “Nabil Cash Machine” and Prabhu Bank’s “Cash Recycler Machine” created a buzz in the media. Well, both of them have a similar utility that allows the banking customers to deposit money directly through a machine like ATM.

Let’s Know about Cash Recycler Machine

Normally the ATM we use can only disburse the money when we insert our card there. It is unable to accept money in turn. With this new technology of cash recycler machine, as the name suggests, you can also make deposits through it to your account. A cash recycler machine looks the same as an ATM machine but allows you to make both deposits and withdraw.

This facility would enable the customers to deposit money in their bank account or others without the need to visit the counter. This saves time and effort that we spend while staying in line to deposit money or withdraw amounts at the bank counter. You can use the machine with your bank account number or debit/credit card. Then one can make deposits of money into the machine. The machine accepts the money and provides you with a receipt. This is a fully automated system that allows you to make deposits without the involvement of bank staff.

Most importantly, cash recycler machine can save the economy as it can detect fake banknotes. In addition to that, sometimes it can reject old notes which the user inserts in the deposit tray.

What facilities are available at present?

A specimen of Cash Recycler Machine
Source: Sanjib Subba, Intern CEO at Nepal Electronic Payment Systems Ltd.

This cash recycler machine has more utilities than that of an ATM machine. You can make deposits to not only your account but also to the accounts of other banks. However, these banks have allowed depositing money into personal accounts only at present. According to both of the banks, they are soon preparing to allow making deposits to other accounts as well.

The deposit amount has some limit range. Nabil Cash Machine allows the users to make deposits of NRs 1000, NRs 500, and NRs 100 notes up to the limit of NRS 99,000 per transaction. Additionally, it allows the customers to make payments of their credit card dues directly from this machine. Currently, this facility is available in the bank’s Teendhara and Pulchowk branches.

Similarly, Prabhu Bank’s Cash Recycler Machine is available at its Babarmahal branch. The customers can reach out to the machine and make deposits directly with real-time configuration. Its system is powered by Nepal Electronic Payment Systems Ltd. (NePS). NePs is a payment system operator (PSO) licensed by Nepal Rastra Bank to offer safe and updated payment systems for the customers of the Nepalese banking system. Prabhu Bank has launched the first-ever cash recycling machine powered by NePs.

However, neither of these banks were the first to introduce cash recycler machine in Nepal!

Cash Recycler Machine (CRM) was introduced way before in the world in 1982. Japan is the first country to introduce this technology then. It is widely used in many countries today and Nepal has adopted it later than most. China launched its first CRM machine in 2002 and India adopted it in 2014.

In 2021, this news is getting hype in Nepal, which is one of the achievements for our financial system though. However, you might not know that this technology already existed before in Nepal. Yes, you got it right!

In 2017, Nepal SBI Bank had launched Intouch Outlet in Durbarmarg. It was one the most sophisticated outlets at that time with self-service terminals.

Source: M&S VMAG

With the collaboration with its parent bank in India, Nepal SBI Bank had provided this outlet with Cash Recycler Machines. Apart from that, it offered the following automated services that did not require any banking staff.

  • Instant bank account opening and VISA Debit card issuance through the automated kiosks
  • Cash deposit through Cash Recycler Machine
  • Cheque deposit through kiosk
  • Internet banking kiosk and digital wall
  • Token system delivered by a humaniod robot “Pari

These were the most advanced technologies available then in Nepal. However, the service is closed now because the bank could not sustain this outlet with a limited number of customers of this advanced technology. According to one of the bankers of Nepal SBI Bank, customers still needed to be familiar with the self-service banking system.

It raises a question- Are Nepalese customers ready for this technology?

While our digital transactions are booming with the use of various payment systems, Nepal seems to be ready for digital transformation. The mobile subscription coverage has reached 113% by the end of 2020. The payment systems like QR codes, digital wallets, connectIPS, etc have contributed to making Nepal digital. However, we are too slow in adopting some of the technologies in the financial system. Like these days, the universities are resisting to introduce online examinations, so are the customers with the new banking technologies. The failure of Nepal SBI’s Intouch Outlet is one of the reasons why Nepalese customers still lack digital financial literacy.

Although these hurdles exist, we should still move ahead to adapt to the new fintech with time. This Cash Recycler Machine is a new concept in Nepal that can be a game-changer in the banking system. Some individuals fear if it could cease the job of some bankers as the banks can save money that goes on salary to the tellers. More than the drawbacks, CRM offers time-saving and comfortable services to the customers. Most importantly, the central bank and other institutions should speed up their digital financial literacy programs to promote financial inclusion in the majority. It is all up to us how we use it. Let’s hope this service would sustain itself in the future with wide acceptance and usage.

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Hi, I am a postgraduate student of Economics, stock market enthusiast, an occasional storyteller and a habitual reader.

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