Roles of ATM in Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion is one of the key drivers of the economic growth and poverty alleviation, especially for the lower-middle income countries like India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recognised automated teller machines (ATMs) to be an efficient and cost-effective tool for banks in enhancing financial inclusion in India. Despite 55 percentage increase in ATM deployment from 1,66,894 in June 2014 to 2,59,146 in June 2023, India still lags behind many lower-middle income countries in terms of ATM penetration, with only 21.44 ATMs per 1 lakh adults in 2021. Further, the year-on-year growth rate of ATM deployments in India has been declining in recent years.


In this context, this study aims to examine the need and impact of ATMs in promoting and facilitating financial inclusion. It will present the status of ATMs and other instruments of financial inclusion in India and globally. It will identify and analyse the various obstacles that may hinder the effective utilization of ATMs for financial inclusion purposes. The study will recommend policies and measure to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of ATM utilization as a means to foster financial inclusion, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that a broader segment of the population gains access to the financial tools and services they need to improve their economic well-being.