ATM manufacturer NCR has taken a minority equity stake in Utah-based video banking outfit uGenius. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
The investment follows a collaboration between the two firms in 2011 to develop NCR's Aptra Interactive Teller, which uses uGenius' video banking technology to give consumers a choice to conduct transactions with the assistance of a live, remote video teller.
NCR senior vice president Michael O'Laughlin claims "significant interest" from financial institutions in the Aptra machine, although the company has yet to confirm any sales.
For NCR, the investment buys a stake in a near-future in which banks look to cap the expense of running costly branch networks by 'beaming in' remote staff to handle customer transactions.
"In five years, bank and credit union branches will look nothing like they do today," says O'Laughlin. "We are on the verge of a dramatic reshaping of the consumer experience in the branch. Technology will play a powerful role in making that environment better and more convenient for consumers, while becoming more cost effective for financial institutions."