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Monday, January 24, 2011

MasterCard launches ATM finder for the Android

MasterCard Worldwide last week, launched the MasterCard ATM Hunter application for Android smartphones, reports ATM market place.

This is coming as YourCash Limited has concluded plans for the installation of 500 free-to-use ATMs in convenience stores throughout the United Kingdom (UK).

MasterCard senior vice president of Global Digital Marketing, Cheryl Guerin, said that with this success, iPhone and Blackberry as well as Android users could locate ATM that offer MasterCard at ease.

“With the success of this application on the iPhone and Blackberry, it is a natural progression to bring it to the active Android user base as well,” Guerin said.

The MasterCard ATM Hunter leverages the location-based technologies of the Android platform to search for the nearest ATM. Users can customize the search based on the nearest ATM or a specific ATM if the cardholder needs to make a deposit or a surcharge-free cash withdrawal, Guerin said. The application also can locate wheelchair accessible and drive-through ATMs.

ATM Hunter also enables cardholders to report a problem at an ATM location. “This new feature facilitates real-time communication back to MasterCard to report a non-working ATM or ATM that no longer exists at a specific location,” Guerin said.

Meanwhile, YourCash Limited said it has advanced plans to install 500 free-to-use ATMs in convenience stores throughout the United Kingdom this year, according to Lee Middleton, the company’s director of Change and Marketing.

The company’s ATMs are equipped with General Packet Radio Service, enabling mobile transmission of data. As a result, retailers do not have to install a telephone line for the ATMs if the machines remain in the same location within the store, Middleton said.

To reduce deployment costs, merchants fill the ATMs with the stores’ cash. YourCash electronically reimburses retailers’ bank accounts at the end of the business day, replacing funds withdrawn by cardholders, Middleton said. Retail customers can use the ATMs to add minutes to their mobile phone accounts and to check bank balances.

YourCash also signed an agreement with iDesign to provide on-screen advertising for ATMs.

London-based iDesign promotes in-store sales on ATM screens. This strategy encourages cardholders who withdraw funds from ATMs to spend some of the money with the retailer before leaving the store. IDesign also promotes advertising campaigns for mobile telephone operators, DVD providers and other vendors whose products are not sold in the store.

“Your Cash offers the convenience market a total ATM experience,” said Jenny Campbell, chief executive of YourCash, which has its headquarters in Milton Keynes. “From our established surcharging ATMs to more technologically advanced free-to-use ATMs, we can offer our customers a solution that will not only suit their business but also benefits their business and ultimately their customers.”

YourCash was formerly known as Hanco ATM Systems Ltd. Royal Bank of Scotland Group owned the business until Hanco ATM Systems’ management purchased the company in a leveraged buyout. The deal became effective October 1.

YourCash has deployed 1,700 free-to-use ATMs throughout the U.K. and 600 free-to-use machines in the Netherlands. Company officials said YourCash controls 32 percent of the free-to-use ATM market in the United Kingdom. The company has deployed 6,000 ATMs overall.

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