NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) today announced that ING Belgium has chosen the NCR SelfServ 34 automated teller machine (ATM) with cash-recycling module to equip its new-concept Proxi branches.
The Proxi branch concept is part of ING Belgium's retail bank strategy, unveiled in 2007 and driven by changes in customer expectations and habits, particularly the trend towards electronic channels. Proxi branches have an attractive open-plan layout with a fresh design and no counters or security glass, in order to facilitate interaction between customers and bank staff. The branch layout includes "self bank" self-service and customer advice areas. The name refers to the convenience that customers want - banking services when they want them, where they want them and through the channel they choose.
Additionally, bank staff no longer handles cash directly. Instead, cash will be dispensed through the NCR SelfServ 34 ATMs, with built-in recycling modules to reduce risk to staff and customers. Cash deposited through the units will be re-dispensed to subsequent customers making withdrawals. ING Belgium has taken a clear lead with this approach, requesting automatic cash-recycling modules on almost all the 1,200 ATMs for installation, 95 percent of which will be installed inside branches. This is the most extensive deployment of cash-recycling ATMs in Europe.
Benefits for ING Belgium customers include greater autonomy in their day-to-day banking operations as well as easier access to personal advice on savings and investments, credit, insurance and other services.
"Our partnership with NCR has enabled us to roll out our strategy to shift cash transactions within Proxi branches to self-service areas. With its unique dual cash-recycle/dispense functionality, the NCR SelfServ 34 ATM is a perfect match for our requirements and ensures a very high level of security for cash operations as well as the flexibility we need for future upgrades," said Quinten Fraai, General Manager Direct Channels of ING Belgium.
The cash-recycling module provides sophisticated bill sort and validation functionality that allows banks to redistribute cash to customers. The NCR solution comprises two recycle/dispense modules for each ATM, with a capacity of approximately 16,000 notes. Currency deposited by customers is processed by a recognition module to determine their validity. Any notes thought to be counterfeit or defective are removed from circulation.
The built-in recycling and cash dispense capabilities were key factors in ING's choice of NCR. Combined, they ensure maximum ATM availability and meet ING's commitment to improving customer service and staff security, since cash is no longer handled over the counter.
"One of our top priorities at NCR is to give customers the choice and flexibility they need and help them adapt smoothly and efficiently to the commercial and strategic challenges ahead," said Michael O'Laughlin, general manager, NCR Financial Services. "By equipping ING Belgium with ATMs with built-in cash-recycle functionality, NCR has further proven its ability to deliver solutions in line with the bank's commitment to raise customer service and improve security for employees, since cash operations will now be fully automated."