KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), in collaboration with commercial banks, has been taking a number of steps in order to ensure maximum availability of ATM-related services to its customers especially during Ramadan and long holidays including Eid and other festivals.
Consequently, the joint efforts of SBP and commercial banks saw an average of 96.5% uptime recorded in ATM services during Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr. This further improved to 98% uptime, during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays. In addition, a record of Rs827.2 billion was withdrawn through 63.2 million transactions during Ramadan and Eid holidays, whereas Rs.137.8 billion were withdrawn through 11.6 million transactions during Eid holidays only.
SBP initiated a Special ATM Monitoring exercise during the holy month of Ramadan and on long EId-ul-Fitr holidays keeping in view the high demand for cash. In this regard, a dedicated team within SBP was formed to oversee the nationwide ATM Operations of all banks through both On-site and Off-site inspections and monitoring. Dedicated SBP staff remained available round-the-clock to liaison with banks in order to ensure that uninterrupted ATM-related services remain available to the customers during the long Eid-ul-Fitr holidays spanning over nine days. SBP teams received more than 500 complaints from the public that were immediately taken up with the banks for resolution in the shortest possible time.
SBP appreciates the efforts of the banks in ensuring the high availability of ATMs during Ramadan and Eid holidays. The ATM uptime has also been encouraging as it was difficult for banks to mobilize ATM Monitoring teams on-ground for rectification of issues because of mobility restrictions and issues related to the availability of spare parts due to closure of markets etc.
SBP firmly resolves to keep facilitating the public and carrying out similar exercises in future as well to facilitate the general public at large.