ATM Transactions-How far are you safe

ATM Transactions-How far are you safe

There are number of complaints received by banks, ombudsman and the consumer courts on malfunctioning of ATM and a large number of public becomes victims of the system. Banks have a standard reply that card is in possession of customer and code number is known to the customer only which is confidential .Hence it is the user who is at fault in case of any wrong transaction and bank cannot be alleged for deficiency in services before the consumer court. Not only that, bank refuse to take the complaint stating it fraud and suggest filing FIR with police. The Consumer fails to understand as to why bank should not take steps even if it fraud.

But consumer forums do not spare service providers on such pleas. In the matter of Vidyawanti V State Bank of India (2015) CPJ 245 (NC) Manipulation in ATM machine by some third party was observed and bank was held responsible because there were other complaints also on the same day transactions for unauthorized withdrawal.  Bank was made liable to make good of loss.In similar case of malfunctioning of ATM machine, it was found that ATM system was reported out of order with malfunctioning in the official noting of the bank for the last two days from the date of reported complaint and bank had neither locked the system as non-functional nor did they took any action to repair or rectify it. In this case also bank was held responsible.  

Similarly in the matter of State Bank Of India V Sansar Chand Kapoor, in (2015) CPJ 135 (NC) fraudulent withdrawals of Rs 10000/-was alleged by Sansar Chand Kapoor. CCTV footage was not provided to the customer on demand which bank ought to have provided. National Commission upheld award of compensation and cost of litigation holding bank deficient in services for not providing CCTV footage which was an important evidence to find out the user of machine.

There was yet another case of State Bank Of India &Others V/S J Nagaih FA No 893 Of 2011 decided on 8.7.14 by Tamil Nadu State Commission on the issue of unauthorized use of old ATM card. As per the stated facts, bank issued a new card and did not cancel the old one. Once new card has been issued, it was responsibility of the bank to immediately invalidate the earlier one. Rupees 3900/-was withdrawn through that card making bank liable to refund Rs 3900/- alongwith Rs 20000/- as compensation and cost of litigation to the tune of Rs 1000/-

ATM has become just a need of the day but most vulnerable when it comes to misuse or defaults this is a matter of fact and record that cloning of cards was detected in few bank matters and this confirms that consumer can be cheated without his fault also. A person sitting at Delhi with his ATM card finds money deducted from his account showing transaction done at Jammu.This fact must alert the bank that everything is not fine with their bank. It is the duty of the bank to file FIR, get matter investigated and catch the culprit. Onus cannot be shifted on consumer who has hired services from the bank and trusted it.

Now let us see some examples where consumer is to be careful and vigilant. At times ATM card is swallowed by the machine before transaction and money does not come out after feeding confidential code number. The first thing consumer has to do is to cancel the transaction there and then on ATM machine and then get the card also cancelled in order to avoid misuse of card. Consumer needs to report immediately to the bank.Banks tally the accounts within seven days from the transactions and fault is found. In case of failure on the part of bank to reply within one month time, consumer may move to ombudsman or consumer court.

Sunita had an ATM card which was not used for many days and one fine morning he finds 20,000/- deducted from his account through ATM which was not used by him .CCTV revealed that one of his office colleague had taken out her ATM card from her purse and within half an hour it was kept back after doing transaction during office hours only. The mistake done by Sunita was that she had disclosed once her pass word to her friend In situation like above courts are unable to help the consumer in the absence of any cogent proof against bank.

In State Bank of India v. K.K. Bhalla, II (2011) CPJ 106 (NC) =Revision Petition No. 3182 of 2008, decided on 7.4.2011, by the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, It could not be said that there was a fraudulent transaction from the account of the complainant, as the transaction could not take place without the use of the ATM card, which was in the exclusive possession of the complainant. In view of the elaborate procedure, having been evolved by the Opposite Parties, regarding the use of ATM card, it was not at all possible to withdraw the money from the account of the complainant through ATM by any person other than him.


Another situation is when you are doing transaction and somebody is watching and observing your pass word and activities .Sometimes you feed your password but money does not come out due to any technical problem. You leave the machine without cancelling the transaction and next man when deals with the ATM, your password works and your money goes to next man.CCTV is focused on person and not on keyboard of ATM.In such circumstances CCTV approves your presence on particular time and hence you cannot refuse it unless you report about non receipt of money immediately to the bank with details of exact time and day of transaction  

Sometimes consumer also plays game by filing false case. In the matter of Raghabendra Nath Sen &Others v Punjab National Bank others 1, 2015 CPJ, 254 NC it was alleged by the consumer that his money Rs 54500/ in the bank was - reduced to 49500 by deducting Rs.  5000/-through ATM .he had withdrawn only 1000/-. SMS for both transactions were received on 3.10.11. Complaint lodged on 7.10.11. Complainant did not appear for making submission before the court and sent letter to commission for deciding on merits. The fact of receiving two SMS for two transactions and even then not reporting immediately to bank was a question of concern and court was not convinced that money has not been taken out by complainant when card was in his possession.

At times two banks have the agreement that customer of one bank can use ATM of other bank. In such case if transaction done with the ATM of other than own bank is faulty, consumer cannot have claim with the bank where he is actually not having account. Recently national commission has dealt with a case of Chenaram v Oriental Bank of Commerce &others 11 2016 CPJ 613 NC  and warned the consumer of technical error  where consumer has made party to the bank not having account with it  .in such a situation consumer needs to contact his own bank. It is the duty of his bank to obtain details from the contracting bank and provide the same to the consumer




Become a Member of the new revolution "Consumer Awakening" and instantly expand your knowledge with the Important Landmark Judgements, Laws Laid down by the Supreme Court for Consumer Rights, Get access to hundreds of Featured Articles in 2 different Languages; English and Hindi - a valuable professional resource to draw upon, and a powerful, collective voice to advocate for your protection of rights as a consumer nationwide.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a "Consumer Awakening" Member!
You will find information on Customer Rights, what we're doing and how to become a member. If you are looking forward to become a member of our portal and gain access to Hundreds of Featured Articles which will clearly give you an insight of yoru rights as a Consumer, then Read Further. more detail on our technologies and technology process,