Hughes Communications India Limited (HCIL), a subsidiary of broadband satellite network provider Hughes Network Systems, announced it has connected over 12,000 off-site ATMs and rural bank branches with a secure broadband satellite network in 2014.
The contracts, valued at INR 300 million, were awarded by eight different banks including Punjab National Bank, HDFC Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Dena Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, and Odissa Gramya Bank.
Given the size of its population, India has one of the lowest ATM densities in the world with only 25.4 ATM machines for every 1,000 sq. km. This translates into 8.9 ATMs for every half million (5 lakh) population.
The new government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a financial inclusion mission called Jan Dhan Yojana that promises that almost every Indian across 600,000 villages has access to banking services.
The 12,000 off-site ATMs and rural bank branches will add to India’s growing banking network, thereby ensuring that the government is a few steps closer to ensuring that every Indian is within 15 minutes walking distance to a bank or an ATM by 2016, said Shivaji Chatterjee, head of Enterprise Business at HCIL.
ATM penetration in India is expected to continue on the path of high growth and reach an estimated 200,000 ATMs by 2016.
Till date, HCIL has connected approximately 50,000 ATMs and bank branches.