Absa looks to bulk up high tech ATMs

Banking group Absa (ASA) aims to add at least 400 Cash Accepting ATMs to the market in 2012 as part of its investment into IT infrastructure and expansion.

The group said its Cash Accepting ATMs are steadily being enhanced to include a functionality known as “Scan ‘n Pay”.

This functionality allows customers to scan bar-coded invoices from certain pre-registered service providers (such as telecoms companies, utilities, TV licences, etc) at the Cash Accepting ATM, and instantly pay these accounts.

Absa customers can pay directly from their accounts or by using the cardless function.

According to Absa’s head of retail markets, Arrie Rautenbach, the ATM is evolving to such an extent that it will no longer be a simple cash dispenser. “As we bring new devices into the market, and begin to replace some of our older ATMs, we will increase the network of Cash Acceptor ATMs. In time, this new Scan ‘n Pay functionality will become standard across the entire network.

“As we continue to enhance our IT infrastructure, we will see a greater shift in customer behaviour away from traditional forms of banking. Constant innovation will change the face of banking in our country,” Rautenbach said.

The group noted that cash deposits at its ATMs have recorded a 223% year-on-year growth, between January 2010 and January 2011.

“Rising usage of our bulk note Cash Accepting ATMs, of which there are now nearly 400 around the country, reveals an interesting trend in customer behaviour,” Rautenbach said.

“We are now seeing an average of 170,000 people depositing cash into these machines every month,” the retail lead said.

Absa embarked on its journey towards installing Cash Acceptor ATMs with a pilot across 52 terminals in December 2009. In 2010, a further 112 were installed, followed by 221 in 2011.

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Absa looks to bulk up high tech ATMs