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:
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:
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
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.