Bank of Ireland is to roll out 500 automated teller machines (ATM) in shops and other high traffic non-bank locations as part of a EUR15 million investment in its ATM infrastructure.
The expansion of its network to non-bank branch locations is the final phase of a major investment by the bank in its ATM infrastructure. Earlier phases that have been completed include the upgrade of the existing ATM hardware across bank branches; the addition of ATMs in new locations within the branch network; and the re-branding of all Bank of Ireland ATMs as '365 Cash'.
In this final phase, Bank of Ireland has contracted with Hanco ATM International to install 500 new ATMs specifically designed for non-bank retail environments. The bank is holding talks with a number of major retail chains with nationwide coverage regarding the deployment of these machines. Pilot testing will commence with a number of retailers in September, after which a detailed rollout plan will be announced.
Patrick Waldron, director direct channels, Bank of Ireland, comments: "We are regularly canvassed to install ATMs in a variety of locations but until now, didn't have an economically viable basis for doing so. The Hanco machines have a lower cost infrastructure and can be installed in low volume sites that, in the past, could not have justified a traditional ATM."
Under terms of the agreement with Hanco, Bank of Ireland will provide branding, transaction processing, transaction and cash settlement, and customer query handling. In turn, Hanco will provide installation and on-site training for staff, 24/7 helpdesk for retailers, dispute management, ATM insurance, lifetime warranty and field support.
The new ATM model, known as 'Merchant Fill' or 'Self Fill', is replenished by the retailer on a daily basis and transactions will be charged at the standard rate applying in each bank. Account balance information will be available to Bank of Ireland customers only.
Waldron adds: "Research shows that the presence of cash machines in retail outlets leads to increased footfall in-store, as well as increased consumer spend. In addition, retailers can manage their cash in a very cost-efficient manner."
He says the bank will continue to review both the model of dispenser and the spread of locations for its ATMs.