Cash Deposit Machine spills 96k, customer returns it

The security guard of the ATM Seshnath Yadav. (DH photo)

In a bizarre turn on Saturday, a customer was shocked to see Rs 96,000 cash spill out of a Cash Deposit Machine in a Mumbai ATM kiosk immediately after she inserted her debit card. Once she realised that the money was not hers, she promptly handed over the money to the security guard. 

Recounting her experience to DH, Rafiqua Mahadiwala, a chartered accountant, said she had only inserted the debit card when the machine started generating a strange noise. “I quickly removed the card and was checking another machine in the same kiosk, when the curreny notes spilled out.”

Rafiqua's first instinct was to verify if any amount had been deducted from her account. “I checked my phone to see if any debit SMS had been sent by the bank, whether the amount had been debited from my account or not. But there was no message,” she recalled.

Relieved that the cash was not hers, she handed over the entire amount to the ATM security guard Seshnath Yadav. “I also spoke to the area manager. We also counted the cash that was totalling to Rs 96,000.”

Responding to this issue, ICICI Bank on Monday said a customer had visited their Saki Naka, Andheri ATM Centre to deposit Rs 96,000 in cash using the Cash Deposit Machine (CAM). Unlike an ATM, a CAM has a dual a feature – it is used to deposit as well as withdraw cash. 

The Bank's Head of Corporate Communications noted, “Unfortunately, the transaction wasn’t successful and without taking note of the same, he left the center. When Ms. Mahadiwala visited the center and inserted her card in the same CAM, she found the cash lying in the machine.”

To ensure that her returning the cash to the guard was recorded, Rafiqua left a video message on the CCTV. But her efforts to directly contact the bank on Saturday had failed. 

“I tried calling the customer care number but there was no quick option to report such incidents. There was no emergency contact numbers available at the ATM,” she explained. Eventually, she wrote a detailed mail to the bank and asked the guard to inform the branch manager.

But even before the Bank's clarification, the guard had offered some clues. He told Rafiqua that another customer had operated the same machine before.

Based on her experience, Rafiqua offered an advice to customers: “People should wait and cancel their transaction before exiting the ATM kiosk. This is to protect their accounts.”

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