White Label ATM – Meaning, Example, Regulations, Operators

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White Label ATM Industry in India

ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) are everywhere and it is difficult to imagine life without these machines in modern society. While most ATMs in India are operated by banks, there is a relatively new category of ATMs which are not branded by banks. This article talks about White Label ATM (WLA ATM) industry in India, its regulation and evolution as well as White Label ATM example and operators.

White Label ATM Meaning

In simple terms, White Label ATM means the machines established, owned and operated by non-bank entities. Non-bank entities incorporated in India under the Companies Act 1956 are allowed to operate WLAs. WLA companies plug into the banking network and allow customers of any bank to withdraw funds and also offer other services such as bill payment and cash deposit services. In return, WLA operators charge fees to the card-issuing bank for providing the facility to bank customers.

The ATMs set up under this business model carry the brand name of the White label ATM operators, and customers, irrespective of which bank they maintain accounts with, are able to use these ATMs for their banking transactions. RBI has authorized the operations of WLAs by non-bank entities under Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007, in order to increase the ATM network in India, especially in rural and semi-urban areas.

Operations of White Label ATM Operators

From a users point of view, operations of a WLA is quite similar to any other ATM. However, the backend may be quite complex. A white label ATM operator has to interact with three other intermediaries in the entire transaction process. A typical white label ATM operator operates through a lending bank, a sponsor bank that manages settlements, and an ATM network provider like NPCI. WLA operators operate under a B2B business model by entering into partnerships with banks. However, the revenue and profitability are heavily dependent on the volume of transactions at WLAs. Hence, a WLA operator also needs to build connect with the end-customers, like in a B2C business model.

Connecting with potential customers, building awareness and trust in the customer about the safety and convenience of WLAs is as important as building relationship with sponsor banks. Strong focus on investments directed at building
customer trust towards the brand helps WLA operators to attract customers, footfall at ATMs and thereby revenues.

White Label ATM Operatos

Facilities with White Label ATM

  1. Any customer belonging to any bank, can use it.
  2. Five transactions are free, Every month.
  3. Open 24/7 and on holidays
  4. Value added services like mobile recharge, utility bill payments etc.

As one can see, a white label ATM works just like a regular bank ATM. In fact, it offers more facilities and services such as mobile recharges, utility bill payments etc to retail users.

History of White Label ATM Industry in India

Until 2012, only banks were permitted to set up ATMs in India. According to RBI, as of March 2012, the number of ATMs deployed in the country was 95,686, with almost 70% of the ATMs deployed in urban and metro areas. With an objective to expand the ATM network in unbanked and underbanked regions of the country, in June 2012, RBI decided to permit non-bank entities to set-up, own and operate ATMs in India. The primary objective of permitting non-banks to operate white label ATMs (WLAs) was to enhance the spread of ATMs in semi-urban and rural areas where bank-owned ATM penetration was not growing.

In 2013 and 2014, RBI issued Certificate of Authorization to eight non-bank entities for setting up and operating White Label ATMs in India.

WLA ATM Licenses by RBI

Entity Month and Year of Issuance of Certificate Current Status as of July 2021
Tata Communications Payment Solutions Limited May 2013 Operational
Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd. November 2013 Operational
Vakrangee Limited January 2014 Operational
India1 Payments Limited February 2014 Operational
Muthoot Finance Limited February 2014 Authorisation under process of cancellation as the company surrendered its certificate of Authorisation in 2020 due to mounting losses
SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited May 2014 Operations ceased as the company surrendered its certificate of Authorisation in 2018 due to viability issues
RiddiSiddhi Bullions Limited May 2014 RBI revoked the certificate of Authorisation in March 2021 due to Non-compliance with regulatory requirements
AGS Transact Technologies Ltd June 2014 RBI revoked the certificate of Authorisation in March 2021 due to Non-compliance with regulatory requirements

However, as of July 2021, only four WLA ATM operators remain in the industry – namely, India1 Payments (formerly known as BTI Payment), Tata Communications Payment Solutions, Hitachi Payment Services, and Vakrangee.

Regulatory Tailwinds for WLA ATM Operators

In March 2019, RBI eased business guidelines for WLAs, allowing them to directly source cash from RBI in order to reduce the white label ATM operators’ dependency on bank withdrawals. This has resulted in higher availability of cash in all denominations and a reduction in transportation and operational costs for white label ATM operators.

In June 2021, RBI reviewed the ATM interchange fees for ATM transactions and allowed increase in interchange fee per transaction from INR15 to INR17 for financial transactions and from INR5 to INR6 for non-financial transactions in all regions, from August 1, 2021. This presents as a huge incentive for WLAOs to deploy more ATMs in the country, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, where the penetration is lower.

Number of White ATMs in India

As seen above, white label ATM example includes machines installed by four companies. In total, these four companies have deployed over 25,000 ATMs in India.

WLA operatorsLicense approval dateNumber of ATMs (March 2021)
India1 Payments Limited 12th February, 2014 8,022
Tata Communications Payment Solutions3rd May, 20136,189
Vakrangee23rd January, 20145,414
Hitachi Payment Services 25th November, 2013 5,388

India1 Payments is the largest white label ATM operator in India, based on the number of ATM transactions in Fiscal 2021 and installed base as of March 31, 2021. It has crossed a milestone on deploying 10,000 white-label ATMs, which was called as ‘India1 ATMs’. It has become the second-largest white label ATM brand in semi-urban and rural areas. Interestingly, it is also looking to tap the primary market and has filed DRHP with SEBI.

Tata Communications Payment Solutions (TCPSL) was the first company authorized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open White Label ATMs in the country. It got launched under the brand name ‘Indicash’ in June 2013 and launched the first ATM in a Tier-5 town.

Vakrangee is the 3rd largest White Label ATM player in India.

Hitachi Money Spot ATM is the brand of Hitachi Payment Services’ White label ATM deployment in India. The company has a strong focus on deploying WLA ATMs in Tier 3 to Tier 6 towns.

Growth of White Label ATMs in India

As mentioned above, the number of ATMs deployed by WLAOs reached over 25,000 in March 2021. This reflects a strong CAGR of 21% between March 2015 and March
2021.

White Label ATM Growth

Regionwise WLA in India

Regionwise WLA ATMs in India1

WLA Operators’ Market Share by ATMs deployed

India1 Payments33%
Tata Communications Payment Solutions (Indicash)24%
Hitachi Payment Services22%
Vakrangee21%
Market share as of 30 June 2021

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