Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:05

NCR SelfServ streamlines DIY banking at ATMs

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A new generation of ATMs is set to make it easier for people to carry out a wider range of banking tasks without entering a branch.

The NCR SelfServ ATMs, as chosen by the National Australia Bank (NAB), are able to take cash and cheque deposits without the need for envelopes, and can handle bill payments.

Cash deposits are immediately credited to the relevant account, and an image of the cheque is printed on the double-sided receipt. However, NAB will not be enabling this feature initially.

"NAB is committed to providing fast, reliable and convenient access for our customers.  NCR SelfServ is helping us deliver on our commitment by setting new benchmarks in availability, ease of use and functionality," said Jordan Gibbons, NAB head of ATMs and interchange.

"As one of the first financial institutions in Australia to include this new generation of ATMs in our network, we will now be able to offer the benefits of NCR SelfServ not just to our own customers but to all Australian consumers with access to one of NAB's 1600 ATMs."

The NAB's initial order is for 50 SelfServ units. It is understood that additional units will be purchased to replace existing ATMs as they reach the end of their working lives.

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According to NCR officials, other unnamed Australian banks have ordered the new ATMs.

Other benefits of the new design include reduced downtime thanks to self-healing of software failures without human intervention, and reduced power consumption though the use of Intel Core 2 Duo processors, LED lighting and LCD screens.

"In a big network of thousands of ATMs, every one percent of unavailability could mean hundreds of dissatisfied customers and thousands of dollars in lost transaction revenue," said Ross Checkley, managing director of NCR's South Pacific operations. 

"NCR SelfServ's advances in availability mean that banks can get closer to delivering 100 percent successful customer interactions every single time," he added.

While the ATM market has traditionally relied on the OS/2 operating system, NCR's SelfServ (like other more recent devices) uses Windows.

NAB's SelfServ order is part of a wider $A100 million seven-year deal that will see NCR manage the bank's ATM network including the coordination of services provided by third parties.

CONTINUED


In related news, a point project involving NAB and Telstra (Australia's largest telco) will see ATMs being temporarily installed at the sites of major sporting and cultural events. Telstra's Next G network will be used to provide communications links between the ATMs and the rest of NAB's network.

Plans to deploy the ATMs at the Royal Melbourne Show, the Bathurst 1000 motor race, the Gold Coast Indy car race and the Avalon Air Show follow a successful trial of the system at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix earlier this year.

The writer holds NAB shares.


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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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