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New Delhi: In a landmark development to revolutionize financial inclusion and financial services in India, Muthoot Finance Ltd., India’s largest gold financing company, a flagship company of The Muthoot Group, has become one of the first-ever NBFC to obtain RBI’s licence for setting-up White Label ATMs (WLAs) in the country.

Muthoot Finance aims to set-up 9000 WLAs in 3 years time span – 1000 in first year; 2000 in second year and 6000 in third year. Having a dominant presence in the country with 4000+ branches in over 21 states & 4 Union Territories of India, the company has taken a strategic decision to establish 65% of these WLAs in semi-urban and rural areas (mainly tier III to VI cities/towns). The ATMs will be user-friendly WLAs; even for the differently-abled people – in terms of voice, Braille and wherever feasible, access facilities by ramp also. Muthoot intends to put in place customer grievances redressal mechanism with a definite time frame for resolution of grievances.

Commenting on the development, Mr. K.R Bijimon, Chief General Manager, Muthoot Finance Ltd. says,This is a remarkable development and it has opened host of opportunities for us. With a view to enhance our brand image, and diversify our activities, we had applied to RBI for license to set up a WLA network. Having a very large penetration in semi urban and rural India, it has been our long term strategy to offer innovative payment products and channels to the customers. We intend to install 9000 ATMs in next 3 years and are now working towards obtaining the certification of Authorization from RBI. The process of identifying Sponsor Bank/s and finalizing ATM network across India has already begun.

Being an industry leader, Muthoot Finance will drive on its existing strengths for setting up WLA in various geographical locations- the use of synergy derived from the market leading position in Gold Loan business; a strong presence in under served rural and semi-urban markets.

Earlier in June 2012, the Reserve Bank of India had issued policy guidelines permitting non-bank entities to set up and operate WLAs in the country after seeking Authorization under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007. Previously, only banks were permitted to set up and operate ATMs in India. The primary objective of permitting non-banks to operate WLAs was to enhance the spread of ATMs in semi-urban and rural areas (mainly tier III to VI cities/towns).