South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) has unveiled its unique Slimline ATM (Automatic Teller Machine), which it said is capable of delivering digital banking into retailer environments at remote locations where the volume of business does not support a conventional ATM.
The Slimline offers a large touch screen with an integrated camera, a card reader for CHIP and PIN enabled cards with a numeric keypad, the Johannesburg-based bank said.
FNB, division of First Rand Bank Limited, also said the ATM has been created and designed to specifically serve the needs of emerging markets and lower income groups.
FNB head of Self -Service Channels Aziz Cassim said: “We developed this as a unique technology to address access to banking in a way that deepens functionality and brings full digital banking to our remote sites.”
“We sourced components from our established ATM suppliers and included comprehensive software upgrades to enable account interaction such as transfers and payments.”
While the Slimlines do not dispense cash, they operate in the same way as the FNB Mini ATM: a slip is issued and then cashed at the retailer’s till. The retailer’s account is credited, lowering the risk and cost of holding cash in the shop.
“Slimlines represent a wonderful, mutually beneficial relationship for the retailer, bank and customer,” Cassim explained.
“While our now-retired mini-ATMs offered typical kiosk banking or voucher banking, Slimline approximates Online Banking with PIN and image verification. We fully expect transaction volumes to escalate sharply over previous volumes on our Mini ATMs.”
The Slimline also has great potential across all FNB’s market segments from personal to business and commercial due to its deep digital banking ability, Cassim added.
The bank said it has already installed 960 Slimline ATMs in South Africa, and is extending Slimlines across its Africa Subsidiaries. Installations have started in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland and Tanzania.
Access to an ATM is a critical when enabling greater access to banking, Cassim said.
According to the Finscope Consumer Survey of 2012, people in the lowest income groups spent nearly 100% more time accessing an ATM than people in middle and upper income groups.
The survey showed that poorer customers took 47 minutes to access an ATM while better-off customers were able to do this in 23 minutes.
“We will continue rolling out innovations to enable both physical access to financial services and low, to nil-cost transactions across Africa,” Cassim concluded.