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Friday, August 3, 2012

ATMs may come loaded with more features

Third party service providers are now seeking to incorporate special features in ATMs to meet the transaction needs of specific regions.

This comes in the wake of nine service providers winning auction bids to set up a pan-India network of about 62,000 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) on behalf of public sector banks.

Tata Communications Banking InfraSolutions (TCBIL), US-based NCR Corporation and Mphasis are some of the service providers which have won contracts to set up ATMs across States and Union Territories.

TCBIL on Wednesday announced the signing of a contract to deploy and manage nearly 14,000 ATMs across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar, and Andhra Pradesh. These ATMs will be deployed over the next two years on behalf of 21 PSBs.

Currency converters

“We are evaluating the possibility of incorporating special features over and above the regular features in ATMs installed in tourist destinations. This, of course, will happen only after consultation with the banks,” said Sudip Kumar, President, TCBIL.

TCBIL is looking at introducing dynamic currency converters in these areas. This facility will allow customers to transact in multiple currencies. “Value-added features like airline ticketing, mobile top-ups and talking ATMs can also be installed in the ATMs if banks permit,” said Kumar. Starting October, TBCIL will roll-out ATMs according to their quarter-wise plan.

NCR has won auctions in popular tourist destinations such as Kerala and Lakshadweep, among other places. It will be deploying 7,400 ATMs (including in Bihar and Jharkhand) for 26 public sector banks in a span of two years.

Solar power

“In power-deficit rural geographies, we will install solar-powered ATMs. Nearly 15-20 per cent of the total deployment will be in this category,” said Navroze Dastur, Senior General Manager, South Asia Channel Partners and Strategic Alliance, NCR Corporation.

NCR also plans to provide additional services such as utility bill and income-tax payments in multiple regional languages.

The banking space has seen considerable growth in ATMs in the last few years. Banks collectively have a network of about 90,000 ATMs at present.


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