If you’re reading this, it probably means you are among the millions of Indians currently struggling to find cash. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crackdown on black money has inconvenienced many, what with most ATMs being out of service since the announcement and huge queues at banks to withdraw cash. ATM hopping can be a recipe for constant disappointment and to avoid that, you can use the Internet.
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Social media is probably the best tool for crowdsourcing information on working ATMs and it’s not surprising to see people helping others out on these platforms. We’ve already seen how effective social media can be during the Chennai floods and for distributing food to the needy. The good people of Twitter and Facebook are helping out once again.
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Three main hashtags are being used on Facebook and Twitter – #WorkingATMs, #ATMsWithCash, and #ATMsNearYou. We checked all these hashtags on both websites and found a fair share of legitimate reports, based on replies to tweets or posts on Facebook. It goes without saying that you should verify these claims before heading to the ATM mentioned.
Another useful tip is to speak with the security guard at the ATM and find out when cash is replenished at the ATM. You could also take the guard’s phone number and find out if there’s cash at the ATM before stepping out.
Another alternative is to use crowdsourced websites such as ATM Search to check if there’s any cash in ATMs near you. The website wasn’t working very well when we checked it, probably because of heavy traffic, but you can always try your luck to see if it works. Once again we’d warn against trusting any of this data without verifying it. Always ask around before you head to a remote location just for an ATM.
Will Rs. 500, Rs. 1000 notes demonetisation sway Indians away from cash? We discuss this on Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast. You can either subscribe to via iTunes or RSS or just hit the play button below.