To Help Cope With Cash Crunch, Ola Turns Select Cabs Into Mobile ATMs

If you can’t go to the ATM, the ATM can come to you.

In the wake of the cash crunch that followed after the government’s decision to invalidate Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, Ola has decided to pitch in to help. The company has deployed cabs in Kolkata and Hyderabad that are parked at popular locations along with a POS machine and a bank officer. The cabs will  dispense cash of Rs 2,000 per card.

In Kolkata, Ola has partnered with Punjab National Bank (PNB), while for Hyderabad, it has collaborated with SBI and Andhra Bank. “The week-long activity, that is already servicing thousands of citizens, will continue till end of the month. It (cabs) will visit areas like Chandni Chowk Metro Station, Esplanade Metro, Barabazaar, Salt Lake, Exide and Rashbehari (in Kolkata),” he said. In Hyderabad, areas such as KBR Park, JNTU, Inorbit Mall would be serviced over the weekend.

 

The company is encouraged by the initial success of the plan, and is now look at cash being dispensed on the go rather than current experiment of cars being parked at a particular busy point. It’s also aiming at extending the project to other cities, including Delhi.

Ola isn’t the first company to come up with ideas for mobile ATMs. Soon after the demonetization annoucnement, Canara bank had run an ATM bus in Bangalore which parked at popular spots and dispensed cash. Retail chain Big Bazaar had also turned its 260 stores into mini ATMs, where customers could withdraw cash from their cards. With India grappling with a nationwide problem of long queues and shut ATMs, it’s heartening to see private companies, who’ve also suffered thanks to the lack of cash in the market, step in to help.

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