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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

EDB ErgoGroup wins Bankernas Automatbolag ATM contract

EDB ErgoGroup has entered into an agreement that will give the company operational responsibility for 2,800 minibanks in Sweden.


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Finland the pioneer, Sweden the catalyst

It is not an easy decision for banks to agree to pool their ATMs – they are, after all, giving up control of one of their key channels. So what is it about the Nordic countries which means they embrace ATM pooling in a way that other countries find difficult?

I ask the question because five of Sweden’s largest banks – Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank – have announced that by the end of 2011 they will transfer ownership of their ATMs to a separate company, Bankernas Automatbolag, that will operate ATMs on their behalf. This initiative follows similar developments in Finland, where all bank ATMs have been operated by a single outsourcing organisation since the mid-1990s.

There are several factors which make Nordic countries suitable for ATM pooling, but two of the most important are economies of scale and the role of the ATM. Countries with fewer than 4,000 ATMs have reasonable economies of scale as a whole, but individual banks do not. Furthermore, ATMs in the Nordics are seen as rather utilitarian and offer relatively few functions – particularly in comparison to countries such as Spain and Brazil where banks have competed to make the ATM an integral element of their brand image and customer offering.

If Finland was the pioneer of this type of ATM pooling, it may well be that Sweden is the catalyst for similar initiatives elsewhere. Smaller countries with mature ATM markets are particularly suitable, but there is also significant potential in larger countries. While it is unlikely that large ATM markets will go down the road of a single unified network (this has not happened in Sweden yet), there is significant potential for two or more banks to pool their ATM fleets in numerous countries.

There may have been a decade and a half between the Finnish and Swedish pooling initiatives – it will not be nearly so long before the next one.

Reprinted from Banking Automation Bulletin

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 23 September, 2011, 07:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Felix, there are really good points for your writing. 

I have seen several countries where each bank is comptining and offering new solutions for their own ATM-systems. It is really possible in a countries + 20 million customers. Smaller countries it doen't make sense because cost of each ATM is still huge.

What in Finland they have done is adding also non-banking services provided by third party suppliers. One is top up- per paid SIM card solution, where customers can top up their pre paid SIM cards regardless which domestic bank you have account. Other solution is donate money for Plan International development organisation while whitdrawing money.

Few years ago all banks closed their own ATM systems, which had possibility to pay bills because it was costly and 99 % of people already used online banks.

 

Felix Kronabetter

Felix Kronabetter

Business Development Manager

RBR

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.


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