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Saudi Arabia

Users complain of ATM malfunctions

Saudis and expats have complained of technical malfunctions in ATM machines, which authorities say have occurred as a result of high withdrawal rates during the four-day weekend.
Talaat Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee for Saudi Banks, said that banks have established operation rooms to monitor ATMs.
“There are action teams that monitor and conduct inspection of machines,” he said.
There are more than 12,700 ATM machines across the Kingdom and 17 million ATM cards were issued to clients of Saudi banks at the end of the second quarter of 2013.
Cash withdrawals from SPAN (ATMs) and banks were estimated at SR625 billion in 2012.
Local banks have injected large sums of cash into ATM machines to meet the holiday demand.
Only 3 percent of defects, however, were reportedly due to lack of cash in the machines.
The main reason for high cash withdrawal rates, according to officials of the Saudi Payments Network (SPAN), is the increasing prices of commodities and an overall increase in salaries in both private and public sectors.
More than SR32 billion were withdrawn during the month of Ramadan from ATMs linked with SPAN. This represents an increase of more than 8.9 percent compared to the previous Ramadan.
“Sales outlets recorded a growth of SR20 billion, an increase of more than 23 percent against last Ramadan,” Talaat Hafez added.
“ATM malfunctions are limited in comparison with the volume of transaction for these machines throughout the Kingdom,” he said.

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