Banks in India may soon tap into a new way to monetize their ATMs by selling ads to other financial services providers and partners.

India's Ministry of Finance in April notified banks they are allowed to

advertise either their own products and services or those of investment services, brokerage firms and insurance companies on their banks' ATM screens.

Banks may use an ATM screen to display a quick advertisement during the 10-20 seconds a customer has to wait between the time he initiates a transaction and the machines dispenses the cash.

The move means that banks in India could bring down the cost per transaction by generating some revenue through these advertisements, a spokesperson from Mumbai-based State Bank of India Ltd. tells PaymentsSource.

“Bank customers can use other bank ATMs free up to five times a month, but the customer’s bank still has to pay a transaction fee to the bank owning the ATM,” he says. “These advertisements can offset some of these costs.”

Banks may also use the ads to expand their customer base by promoting their own brands and products, the agency said.

The government's notification specified that when an advertisement appears during the few idle seconds when the cash withdrawal is being processed, banks should ensure there is a clear header at the top of the screen indicating that the transaction is being processed.

“This makes sense as some customers, on seeing the advertisement come on the screen, could presume that their transaction has failed,” the spokesperson says, adding that a customer could even forget to collect the cash.

Seventy-seven banks connected to India's National Financial Switch collectively operate a network of 91,324 ATMs, according to National Payment Corp. of India.



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