Monday, April 20, 2009

Deposit, prepaid ATM to hit market soon – Expert

President and chief executive, Nautilus Hyosung America Inc., Mr. Chan Gyun Park, has predicted that in the next five years, there will be Automated Teller Machines (ATM) with capabilities to offer cheque deposits at the ATM levels.

Just as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last week, gave banks in the country until June 30 to remove their ATMs from public places, particularly hotels and airport lobbies.

Mr. Park made this projection as an excerpt from the 2009 ATM Future Trends Report: A comprehensive look at the ATM industry over the next five years, published by ATM Marketplace, last weekend.

He pointed out that with the current changes in bank operations and streamlining efforts, there inherently will be continued growth in the cheque-imaging and processing requirements for those countries where there is a higher circulation and use of cheques and printed-value media.

He cited an instance with the United States, saying that though it leads in cheque issuance and circulation, but has limited offerings in the automation of cheque deposits at the ATM level.

“So, we will see increased demand by financial institutions for the ability to handle commercial deposits of cheques,” he forecasted.

Emphasizing that as more and more cash-management technologies are developed, “we will see greater adoption of recycling, bill-payment solutions, cheque/image processing and prepaid services as consumers demand the ability to perform more transactions at the ATM.”

Fortunately for the industry, Park said that the movement toward this trend will help decrease operational costs, increase revenues and give ATM-deploying merchants and banks a competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar facilities.

“As we look at the global markets and the trends for the foreseeable future, we identify strategies for growth and innovation and divide them into two sectors. The first is the financial sector and its demands, and the second is the retail sector and off-premises deployments,” he said.

Meanwhile, CBN has ordered the 24 operating banks in the country to remove their ATMs from public places including hospitals and airport lobbies, so as to pave way for the Value Added Service (VAS) providers within the electronic financial industry to execute their licenses without fear of domination.

CBN ordered them to restrict such deployment to their own premises in a circular dated April 7.

The circular, endorsed by the Director, Banking Operations at CBN, Mr. James Olekah, noted that the ATM Consortium (ATMC) was mandated at the onset to solely deploy ATM in public places, while banks would limit theirs to individual premises.

“Banks should henceforth restrict the deployment of ATMs to their premises,” he said, advising them to redeploy all existing ATMs in public places to their premises on or before June 30, 2009.

Also, he said, there are plans to increase the number of ATM Consortium licensees in the country.

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