LAHORE - In order to ensure uninterrupted and efficient ATM service to customers on Eid days, almost all commercial banks have deputed special staff to fill and monitor the cash machines round the clock, it was learnt on Saturday. Banking sector sources told The Nation that the majority of the banks have assigned special teams on Eid holidays starting from Nov 5 to Nov 9 (five days) to remain in branches to ensure 24-hour running of the Automated Teller Machines. These teams would work in shifts and in banks and if the number of customers are more, there will be additional staff to ensure availability of cash in the ATMs. The National Bank of Pakistan EVP Khalid Mehmood while talking to The Nation said that as per bank rules, cash department of the every bank is responsible for filling the ATMs and every cash machine, having capacity of up to Rs2.5 million, is filled on daily basis. He said the NBP has assigned special duties in this regard, as at least one staffer will be present in the branch round the clock to ensure availability of cash in the ATMs. He said that during Eid days, the bank officials are bound to fill the machine twice a day so that the customers can take cash easily. He said that following the instructions of the central bank, the NBP has taken special measures to fill the machines. He said that as many as 71 online branches of the NBP will exclusively be open on Nov 5 (Saturday) to facilitate the customers for Eid sake. He said that in all 287 NBP branches are operating countrywide on Saturdays. This is done in order to ensure availability of basic banking facilities mainly to business community. The designated branches of NBP, located at custom houses, ports and airports shall remain open 24/7 as per existing practice. \\par "The list of activities carried out on Saturdays include cash receipts and payments, collection of government revenues (Taxes, Custom Duties etc), government payments (Pensions, Salaries etc), online transactions, fund transfer, collection of utility bills, issuance of demand drafts, pay orders, traveller cheques, collection of cheques, other related instruments and acceptance of documents and opening of inland & foreign letter of credit," the EVP added. During Eid days the government and private employees draw cash through ATMs which mounted to billions of rupees. As there are long vacations of over one week, a large number of people turn to banks for withdrawing money through ATMs. So, it is expected that ATMs would have to fulfill the needs of hundreds of thousands of customers. He said that the banks have made extra efforts to cater to the high traffic on ATMs before and after Eid as per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) directives.\\par An official of the United Bank Liminted stated that for customer facilitation, around 300 UBL branches will remain opened nationwide on Saturday. He said that to further facilitate the bank customers, over 472 UBL ATMs will also be offering cash withdrawal, intra-bank funds transfer, Inter Bank Funds Transfer (IBFT) between partner banks, Utility Bills Payments Service (UBPS), balance inquiry, mini statement and PIN change facilities. \\par It is to be noted that in order to ensure uninterrupted and efficient services to bank customers, the SBP had issued guidelines and instructions regarding management of ATM operations in general and monitoring of ATM cash on Eid days. SBP chief spokesperson said that it has been observed from the customer complaints received by SBP that banks are not complying with the SBP instructions resulting in inconvenience to the general public. This non-compliance has been viewed seriously. SBP has, therefore, decided to depute special inspection teams to carry out surprise inspections of the ATMs installed at various towns throughout the country to ascertain the compliance level by banks. The banks are, therefore, advised to meticulously comply with the instructions. spokesman said that banks had already been advised by SBP to make adequate back-up arrangements to ensure availability of ATM service round the clock and put in place comprehensive operating procedures to resolve problems. He said that SBP had also asked the banks to deploy appropriate staff to address problems that may cause ATM malfunctioning or cash outage incidents, besides introducing a 24/7 helpline to resolve the day-to-day operational issues at ATMs.