Virtual ATM is here: No need to go to ATM; use OTP to get cash from nearby shop; how to use

Virtual ATM is here: No need to go to ATM; use OTP to get cash from nearby shop; how to use

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has become so popular that many do not carry cash nowadays when stepping out. All they need is a suitable phone and Internet connectivity to make payments online. This convenience has created a complication: many do not carry their debit and credit card as UPI makes all these redundant. It becomes a problem when you need cash urgently, especially while travelling or in remote areas. First you need to find an ATM that is working and has cash and then you need to carry your debit card to take out some quick cash. If only you could use your phone to withdraw cash from a shopkeeper nearby.

Now you can do that, says Paymart India. The Chandigarh-based fintech company has come up with a virtual, cardless and hardware-less cash withdrawal service. And the best part: you don’t have to go to an ATM or remember your card PIN to get some cash.

Amit Narang, Founder & CEO of Paymart India Pvt Ltd, calls this service “Virtual ATM”.

To withdraw money using this virtual ATM, all you need is a smartphone, a mobile banking application and an Internet connection. The first step is to use your mobile banking app to initiate a withdrawal request from your bank. Remember that your phone number must be registered with the bank to access the mobile banking app.
Placing the request will make the bank generate an OTP and share it with you through the registered number. You just have to show the OTP to the nearest shop empanelled with PayMart to collect cash from the shopkeeper, says Narang. Your mobile banking app will show a list of shopkeepers — with names, location and phone numbers — registered for virtual ATM with PayMart, says Narang. “No debit card or traditional ATM machine or kiosk or UPI is required to make the withdrawal. The shopkeeper acts as a virtual ATM to pay cash by using the merchant —,” he says.This service will be of significant help for people living in or travelling to remote areas where finding an ATM can be very difficult but have shops that accept digital payments.

Who can use this virtual ATM?

“The virtual ATM service has been successfully piloted with IDBI Bank for over six months,” say a Paymart release. The fintech firm has also partnered with Indian Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank and Karur Vysya Bank to roll out this service.

Currently, the virtual ATM service is available only at select locations in Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai, Narang says.

By March, Paymart plans to launch pilot programmes with its partner banks for a phased nationwide rollout. The fintech company aims to reach this goal by April or May 2024. The company is also in advanced talks with four more banks for further collaboration, it adds.

“The company has entered into a partnership with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited to further expand the reach of Paymart’s virtual ATM service, leveraging over five lakh locations nationwide to facilitate cash withdrawals,” the company says.

Customer do not have to pay any charge to use this virtual ATM, for now, Narang says.

The fintech firm is yet to confirm the withdrawal limit using this facility. The copy will be updated with that information when it comes in.

Virtual ATM can be beneficial to get small amounts. This feature may not be the best option to withdraw a large amount as the shopkeeper might not have a lot of cash in hand.

Virtual ATM: How will it help banks?

Pointing out how this new ATM service will help banks, Paymart says, “Virtual ATMs help banks to serve customers in underserved areas. The cost of installing and maintaining a traditional ATM will be eliminated. It also reduces footfall in the bank branches, especially in remote areas.”

Further, the shopkeeper empanelled will Paymart, earn commissions on transactions, creating new revenue streams. They will experience higher customer footfall, driving business growth, adds Paymart.

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Author: Shirley