The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 09, 2012 • Issue 12:07:01
A cashless ATM
In June 2012, Edinburgh, Scotland-based global ATM software company KAL launched the Retail Teller Machine (RTM) in New York's Times Square. It is a cashless ATM that could transform branchless banking. The RTM does not carry or dispense cash, yet it can perform all the functions of an ATM. One might ask how this is possible.
In describing the system, KAL said that instead of dispensing cash, the RTM prints a unique voucher that is then exchanged for cash inside the store housing the ATM. The merchant is immediately compensated by the RTM, which executes a back-to-back transaction, remitting the dispensed amount into the merchant's bank account.
"We believe the RTM is one of the most important products ever to be introduced to the self-service banking industry," said Aravinda Korala, Chief Executive Officer at KAL. "With significantly decreased [operating] costs, banks can now ensure they have a presence wherever their customers are."
He added that the RTM offers a cost-effective way to make banking services available to millions of customers worldwide who may not have easy access to their banks. Additionally, it enables banks to connect with more customers and increase their customer base without opening new locations.
"The patented process of the RTM also provides an exciting new opportunity for retailers to work closely with their banks in providing convenient and safe access to banking services," Korala said. Theoretically, customers will spend more with RTM-equipped merchants because they will have more cash in hand. Also, proceeds from interchange transaction fees, which are paid by issuing banks to acquiring banks, are sometimes shared with merchants.
The unit features a 17-inch touch-screen with an optional display available for advertising. The RTM is equipped with a smart-card reader to support Europay/MasterCard/Visa transactions and an optional reader for near field communication transactions. The system also features a camera and audio capability and reportedly meets full regulatory compliance standards.
Operating on ATM software, the RTM provides a full range of banking services, including video-conferencing with a bank call center, cash withdrawal, deposit, balance inquiry, bill payment, account transfer and mobile top-up, among others. Because the RTM requires less maintenance and fewer armored service calls, KAL claims it operates at one-tenth the costs of traditional bank ATMs.
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