How To Handle Failed ATM Transactions
Moneylife Digital Team 02 November 2020
A lot of us carry very little cash with us these days. Since we carry debit cards in our wallets, we rely on automated teller machines (ATMs) to withdraw cash as per our needs. Though this is so convenient, sometimes operating an ATM can be tricky. There are times when the ATM may run out of cash or may decline your transaction for some technical reasons.
Sometimes, even if your transaction has been declined, you could receive a text message from the bank saying the transaction was processed and the money has been deducted from your account. One starts hyperventilating in such scenarios, more so if the amount happens to be a big one. A failed transaction is when an account gets debited but the payment is not registered; a pain point faced by many customers, especially while transacting online.
Step 1:  Call the Bank’s Customer Care Service Helpline: 
The first thing you need to do is call the bank’s (card issuing bank) 24-hour customer service helpline. After noting down your issue and recording your transaction reference number, the bank customer care executive will register your complaint and give you the complaint tracking number. The matter will then be thoroughly investigated. As per the new 2019 rules from Reserve Bank of India (RBI), any amount so debited must be re-credited to the customer’s account within five working days of the complaint filing. Otherwise, the bank is eligible to pay Rs100 per day of delay. 
Step 2: Visit Nearest Bank Branch and Submit Written Complaint 
In case this step does not work, you should visit the nearest branch and submit a complaint at the helpdesk. The helpdesk will share a new complaint tracking number. You need to note down the contact number of the executive you met so that it becomes easier to follow up later. 
Let’s say you are withdrawing cash from X bank ATM and using Y bank debit card.  File a written complaint with both banks: X and Y bank, since X bank is the bank you maintain your account in and Y is the bank from whose ATM you attempted to withdraw money. Make sure to carefully save all pieces of evidence, such as the transaction slips, so that you can produce them in your favour. The transaction slip contains the important information such as the issuing bank’s name (Y bank in this case), time of withdrawal, ATM code, and other additional details. The details on the transaction slip will help them detect the reason for the error.
Step 3: Reach Out to the Senior People/ Bank Manager: 
If your complaint remains unresolved, you should speak to the manager of the branch where you hold your account. Often, contacting a senior person helps to resolve the complaint more quickly. One can also visit the bank’s website and register a complaint with the bank’s grievance cell which usually deals with complaints on top priority.
Step 4: Take Up the Matter with the Ombudsman
If, despite all these steps, your complaint remains unresolved, you should take up the matter with the RBI or the banking ombudsman. Such complaints may be submitted in writing either via post or online. However, you have to wait for 30 days from the date of complaint registration before taking this step. 
The RBI has initiated a public awareness campaign through its twitter handle regarding this problem which is faced by many. 
Some cases do require a bit more time, effort and follow-ups from the customer’s side. But, usually, these cases are resolved and do not require legal action. But if all this fails, you can approach the local consumer forum. 
Ramesh Popat
1 year ago
A good one!
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