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The Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is turning out to be an opportunity to the slowing ATM (automated teller machine) industry to more than double its network to 3 lakh machines in two years. It is also turning out to be a huge challenge as ATM deployers are seeing a plunge in transaction volumes, causing leading private banks like HDFC Bank and Axis Bank to go slow on machine deployment. 

The opportunity for ATM companies is that in a few months banks would have added an additional 15 crore RuPay debit cards to the existing 40.9 crore cardholder base (as of June 2014). Ideally, a rise in the number of cards should translate into an increase in demand for ATMs. However, ATM deployment has been running out of steam and new machines are seeing daily transactions of less than 100 — way below the 120 transactions that are required for break-even. 

Part of the drop is triggered by the surge in ATM network. Moreover, with SBI capping the number of free transactions in a month and Axis Bank and HDFC Bank restricting free withdrawals from next month, there is a fear that transactions may fall. 

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