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Mini ATMs - Made in India, Made for the World

L. Kannan, Founder and CTO, Vortex Engineering Pvt Ltd

Jun 27, 2016 11:12

The PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) aims to ensure access to various financial services -- savings bank account, access to need based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension - to the excluded sections i.e. weaker sections & low income groups.

However, the last-mile of cash-disbursal remains a challenge:  Typically, a human agent with a POS device and a bag of cash is the means.  Designated as a “Micro ATM”, such a human agent is generally considered the key technology product for last-mile delivery of the PMJDY scheme and DBT (Direct benefit transfer). But such “Micro-ATMs” have never worked satisfactorily for a number of reasons, compelling the beneficiaries to visit the bank or head post office, which is not nearby, to obtain the payment.

On the other hand, a conventional ATM is considered an overkill for deploying in these contexts.  In the emerging economies like India, the major challenge in deploying ATMs in semi urban/ rural areas is to provide 24/7 availability at a viable cost.  Grid power availability is a major challenge in these areas, and high cost involved in power backup solutions for traditional ATMs with high power rating and the air conditioner needs makes it unviable to deploy ATMs.

Pioneering Low Footprint – Desktop/Mini ATMs for shared spaces:

The above business challenges warrant reducing the costs in running an ATM network in tier IV-VI locations. Vortex has pioneered an innovative Desk Top/Mini ATM solution, operating typically in day time hours, located in a shared space, consuming low power (solar backup) and with connectivity through GSM/CDMA dongle.

With the Desktop/ Wall mounting possibilities these ATMs can be installed in shared spaces within the post offices/ Kirana stores / common service centres. These Mini ATMs offer a low cost and high impact solution to the problems of not just the beneficiaries who want to access their balances, but also a befitting solution for the Banks and the ATM operators.

These Mini ATMs eliminate the shortcomings of the regular ATM installation by reducing the Cap-ex and Op-ex costs, making it viable for the ATM to break even at 40 to 50 transactions per day.

Setting benchmarks in Indian Design

The “Ecoteller Mini” comes with a “completely India designed” and patented dispenser technology.  The software component of this ATM is based on Open Source technology which is also in line with current Govt. of India policy for public sector enterprises & in line with the “Digital India” initiatives. 

Why Small is indeed Beautiful

  • This first of its kind smaller ATMs can be mounted like a post box in shared spaces within office/ bank/ post office lobby, kirana shops, hospitals, Metro stations, IT parks, shopping malls, etc.,
  • Easy Mobility: Can be easily ported wherever required
  • The low foot print (2 sq.ft) reduces the space requirement, hence it brings down the rental overhead in commercial spaces
  • No separate space to construct an ATM centre is required as it can be easily fixed in the available space within the banks’/ post office’s premises
  • As it can be deployed in the available shared space, no ATM centre construction cost is involved. E.g: separate infrastructure like glass doors, wall, ceilings etc.,
  • Exclusive surveillance costs like security personnel, security systems like CCTV is not involved due to usage of shared spaces
  • Provision to include cash deposit function
  • Low OPEX and CAPEX