In what brought back memories of demonetisation for some, several ATMs in a few states had no money to dispense on Tuesday. Looking to withdraw cash, citizens said they were instead greeted with signs which said that the machines were not working.
While it is indeed inconvenient to not have currency notes when required, demonetisation in 2016 did teach us that certain things are best avoided when the purse feels lighter than usual.
1) Do not panic
The current cash crunch is only temporary and limited only to a very miniscule number of ATMs. Unless you are in a far-flung part of the country where access to ATMs are more of a privelege, scout for working ATMs in the area instead of pressing the panic button. Chances are that you will find a machine - even if it is not of your bank - that is dispensing cash.
2) Don't over-withdraw
There was a reason why withdrawl limits were put in the weeks after demonetisation. While you have every right to withdraw as much of your own money as you desire, there really is no reason to empty your account because the situation is near-normal. Also, if everyone begins withdrawing their entire daily limit, chances are someone in dire need of currency may have to go looking elsewhere.
3) Don't forget your cards
Where possible, flick out your debit or credit card. It is not just convenient but is also a safer option. Almost every e-commerice website and big retail companies now also accept payments through third-party apps/mobile wallets.
4) Don't hesitate to step into a bank
If you really cannot do without hard cash for the next two to three days, consider going to the nearest bank and using your cheque book to make a withdrawl. It may be a bigger hassle than getting money from an ATM but is still a sure-shot bet.
5) Don't be impatient
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has assured that there is enough cash in circulation and that the current situation is temporary.
Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) April 17, 2018
Being patient with ATMs is the best way forward.