Absa Group Limited (JSE: ASA), the largest retail bank in South Africa, has contracted Bytes Managed Solutions, which exclusively distributes and supports financial service solutions from NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), to overhaul its entire ATM network across South Africa over a three-year period, and provide ongoing IT services and support for the next five years.
Absa customers will now be able to benefit from a new fleet of market leading NCR SelfServ ATMs, which include NCR SelfServ 25 and NCR SelfServ 26 cash dispense and services ATMs, as well as NCR SelfServ 34 full function ATMs, running NCR APTRA software and the NCR Gasper monitoring solution.
"Absa's challenge was that 80 per cent of its aged ATM base is more than ten years old, which limits the functionality we can offer to customers," said Christo Vrey, managing executive of Absa Digital Channels. "The new ATMs have intuitive user interfaces, exceptional levels of reliability and are more energy efficient, which will help us deliver a great banking experience to Absa customers. The innovations we are introducing aim to reduce the length of queues in bank branches and making banking more convenient and user-friendly for Absa's customers."
The screen design which leverages the NCR APTRA software, is clean, with helpful animations to speed up transactions for customers. NCR's software is also designed to enable banks to integrate online and mobile banking with the ATM channel if required in the future. Security is enhanced, particularly when it comes to helping to reduce the risk of card skimming.
"Bytes Managed Solutions, part of the Altron group has a long-standing partnership with NCR. Leveraging executive relationship of both Altron and NCR enabled us to demonstrate significant value to Absa in support of its objectives and self-service strategy to demonstrate to Absa that we could provide the lowest-risk solution," said Alan Anderson, business development director, Bytes Managed Solutions. "When a large financial services organisation undertakes this level of technology refresh, a well known service provider with a long track record and expertise is a critical requirement. Our understanding of what it really takes to service the business sealed the deal."
For Bytes and NCR access to the network anytime, anywhere is non-negotiable. When an ATM machine is down, it results in negative customer experience and impacts transaction revenue. New self-healing technology means that the NCR SelfServ ATMs automatically restart in the event of a platform or application issue and can be back online in minutes, without the need for an engineer call-out which can take several hours. Absa is also benefitting from NCR's Gasper monitoring solution, enabling it to view the entire ATM estate from one single point. Every device can be observed securely, ensuring optimal availability, improved customer experience and more transactions as a result.
Environmental concerns played a role too. As part of the Altron group, Bytes Managed Solutions subscribes to Altron's Enviro Watch programme to increase its energy efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The new ATMs' energy efficient displays have twice the lifespan of regular displays and the LED lighting saves a third more energy than traditional fluorescent lighting systems. NCR's products are also designed to maximise opportunities for recycling or reuse at their end-of-life.