Guwahati: Micro-ATMs (m-ATMs) have been launched in the North East region by PayPoint India to make primary banking services easily accessible in remote areas covering major tea garden areas of Assam under a pilot programme in the initial stage.

Around 900 m-ATMs have been deployed in tea garden areas of Assam currently, with plans to increase the number to about 6,000 to 7,000 by March 2022, across the region, an official press release said on Monday.

“The tea garden labourers face a huge problem withdrawing their monthly expenses due to the unavailability of ATMs or banks nearby. Assam has more than 841 registered tea gardens with over ten lakh labourers. To curve down the demand for banking services, PayPoint has decided to deploy m-ATMs in major tea garden areas of the state,” it added.

The m-ATMs, a mini version of the large ATMs, can be set up in rural areas from where people usually travel long distances just to access the nearest ATM or a bank.

The handheld machines can be set up at local shops and can use the same cash box of these shops, keeping the cash flow consistent and available at all times.

The Micro-ATMs are also an ideal backup and a pivotal resource for enabling essential cash transactions when the bigger ATMs run dry.

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They can be easily paired with a mobile or laptop for instant delivery of cash through retail shops.

“We believe that PayPoint m-ATMs will help bridge this critical gap and make banking accessible and effective for the people of North East by allowing them to carry out real-time financial transactions without any hindrance,” Ketan Doshi, Managing Director of PayPoint India, said.

Further, m-ATMs are more viable than conventional ATMs due to low infrastructure cost and operational efficiency through normal mobile connectivity, he added.

Advanced and portable m-ATMs with modern facilities like chip-reading provide all conventional ATM facilities such as accepting debit cards, making balance inquiries and generating a mini statement.

PayPoint is a last-mile distribution network of financial services and its digitally connected network of over 60,000 retail stores offer various banking and financial services like PMJDY accounts, micro-ATM services, Wallets (Paypointz), Remittances, Bill payments, eGold, and Merchant QR among others.

The company which started operations in 2008 now processes 80 lakh transactions per month, it claimed.

It was conferred with the Best Fintech and Bank Collaboration 2020 award by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

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