NCR's channel has already taken more than 1000 unit orders for one of the world's smallest automatic teller machines (ATMs).
Announced last week, the EasyPoint 53 is not much larger than a cash register and can be located in sites doing far less transactions than a traditional ATM.
Although NCR has around 650 service engineers Australia-wide, the vendor feels the channel provides the best opportunities to service the market. NCR has around half a dozen independent service organisations that make up its distribution channel.
"We have decided the indirect channel is the best way to service these machines so we have trained a number of partners in the installation and commissioning," said NCR Australia's regional program manager for convenience banking, Matthew Heap.
According to NCR, the off-premises market has been booming for the last two to three years and while the majority of machines are installed in pubs and clubs, smaller retailers provide an untapped market. Only slightly larger than a traditional cash register, the EasyPoint 53 weighs around 50 kilograms and can be bolted onto a store's counter-top or onto a wall. Because the machine uses dial-up communication and merchants replenish the ATM from their own cash registers, running costs such as cash-in-transit services are significantly reduced. Retailers can also take advantage of revenue streams such as advertising, as well as adding their own branding to dockets and on-screen displays, effectively using the ATM as a merchandising tool as well as attracting traffic into their store.
The success of the off-premises ATM market has led to a whole new set of design criteria for NCR. The criteria centre around four issues: size, cost of ownership, revenue-generating potential and ease of use.
Installation and ongoing maintenance will be undertaken by the independent service organisations.
"The way the product is marketed is analogous to a mobile phone in that you buy on a service plan," said Jeff Davies, northern regional manager of self-service solutions. "Independent service organisations take care of issues such as communications cost, switching (between banks), delivery, installation and commissioning, as well as ongoing maintenance. So the physical cost of the hardware is one component of a service offering."
The first installations are expected to go live in mid-October and Internet service is expected to be available within the next six to 12 months.