In India’s poorest state, there’s been a new development. Workers from the Vaishali district in Bihar who earn minimal wages can now collect their money from state of the art ATMs. The workers have “debit” cards, and use them to obtain their wages from the ATM. Since most of these workers are illiterate, the new machines offer interactive touch screens with pictures and symbols to make the money withdrawal process simpler. This is a really great way to cut through the bureaucracy involved in obtaining these workers’ hard earned money. Usually they need to wait in line for hours just to withdraw the cash that they toiled to earn. However, I wonder if this will cause an increase in theft in these areas, because these machines are in a very poor part of the country. Hopefully, there are adequate safety measures in place to ensure that the ATM system is properly monitored and that it only benefits the workers instead of giving them the convenience of an ATM along the lingering possibility of theft.

Image from