Under the new norms, which have been accepted by the RBI, a customer can do just three free ATM transactions in the six largest cities at own-bank machines and two elsewhere.     The new limits and rates by SBI, HDFC Bank and Axis will be applicable to transactions done in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

The SBI, which had reported close to Rs 400 crore loss by way of paying other banks as inter-bank ATM usage in FY14, was the first one to cap ATM transactions at three and impose fees of Rs 20 per subsequent transaction. Since November 1, the new norms are effective at SBI.

However, the bank has allowed more free ATM transactions to those who avoid visiting its branches, and unlimited transactions for those with large balances. The second and the third largest private sector
players HDFC Bank and Axis Bank have also followed suit and said effective December 1, they too will be charging Rs 20 per transaction above five a month.

While HDFC Bank will charge Rs 20 for cash withdrawals and Rs 8.5 (excluding taxes) for balance enquiry, mini statement, etc, Axis Bank will also charge Rs 20 and taxes for financial transactions and Rs 9.5 for non-financial ones. At the third-party ATMs, HDFC and Axis will charge for more than three transactions, down from the earlier five free transactions, the banks said in separate customer notifications.

Axis Bank, which with a little over 12,000 ATMs is the no. 2 player after SBI, however, is offering 10 free transactions for its Prime Plus savings account and Prime salary account holders. But both these account-holders need to have a minimum opening balance of Rs 1 lakh and they can have first five free transactions at non-home bank ATMs.

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