ATM Hygiene Measures

Publication Date: 17/01/2021

Hygiene Measures at Automatic Teller Machines

South African banks are committed to creating a safe environment for their customers to transact and will continue to implement practical measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 at automated teller machines (ATMs). These measures include:

  • Placing social distance markers and messaging to create awareness around ATMs where practical and possible.
  • ATMs attached to branches are cleaned and sanitised regularly during branch operating hours.Banks will continue to ensure the sanitisation of these ATMs and provide hand sanitisers for customers.
  • ATMs not attached to branches are cleaned and sanitised by:
    • External cleaning companies or landlords, where they are located.
    • By the cash-in-transit companies that service the ATMs.

South Africa has an estimated 30 000 ATMs. About 70% of ATMs are situated in remote locations and on-premises that are not owned by banks, such as petrol-station forecourts, in malls, and in shops in more remote communities. This creates a number of challenges for banks when complying with the adjusted level three regulations:

  • Banks have, since the pandemic began, attempted to deploy hand sanitiser to remote ATMs and found this to be unsustainable due to pilferage and vandalism.
  • As there are no bank staff in the vicinity of many remote ATMs it is not practically possible for banks to monitor and enforce social distance queuing at ATMs. The placement of social distance markers by banks may also be an issue as these ATMs are not within bank property and are subject to the restrictions of the premise’s owner.

Despite these challenges, banks are committed to improving the frequency of ATM sanitisation and ensuring that hand sanitisers are available at remote locations, to the best of their ability. They will also work with premises owners to better communicate Covid-19 health protocols and to re-enforce social distancing at remote ATMs.

ATMs are one of the most convenient ways for people to access their money and banking services. Banks are working with government to keep ATMs safe, especially for those who rely on them for services, such as social security grant payments and to access their earnings and cash.

BASA will engage with the relevant government departments to revise the wording of the regulations so that banks are only responsible for enforcing the regulations where it is practical, possible, and within their control. As banks cannot be non-compliant with regulations, an unintended consequence of banks having to comply with the regulations in their current form, could be the removal of non-compliant ATMs from service. Access to the full ATM network, ensures access to cash and bank services and reduces the number of people who may have to queue at bank branches and available

ATMs.

1 In those remote areas where banks cannot ensure the enforcement of Covid-19 prevention methods, we highlight the President’s call for individuals to take personal responsibility to wear face masks, socially distance, and sanitise regularly.