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NCR Corporation, the world’s largest provider of ATM services, has bagged an order from the State Bank of India group to set up 3,000 ATMs, thus adding to the network of 5,600 ATMs across the country. This will make the SBI ATM network a formidable one to beat. This is the single largest order by a bank in India.

“Besides the ATM installation and deployment, the deal includes comprehensive management of the SBI ATM channel, construction of ATM sites and 24x7 monitoring of bank’s ATM network to ensure high availability,” NCR Corporation India MD Deepak Chandnani. The cash management and ownership remains with the bank. Most of the ATMs will largely be installed within the country.

The company will handle ATM management services for the group using diagnostic tools to ascertain possible faults in the ATM network. “On the back of our global database, we have developed tools to preempt problems in transactions. If there is a repeated malfunction, it can be detected through our network and addressed before it actually happens,” he said.

Since banks invest in space, technology and manpower while expanding their ATM networks, they now want to maximise their Return on Investment (RoI). By increasing their network, and ensuring a higher customer availability, banks can generate returns. It takes at least six to nine months for an ATM machine to reach peak utilisation which is on an average 250 transactions per day.

The ATMs which will be installed by NCR are equipped with depository and cash dispensers, capable of addressing routine transactions such as cash disbursal and functions like airline and railway ticketing, deposits and customer relationship management (CRM).

The ATM density in the country, is of the order 25,000 machines for 1.1 billion population. China with a slightly larger population has over 1,00,000 ATMs. Developed countries like the US have over 4 lakh ATMs.

In India, there are 25,000 ATMs across 66,000 bank branches. “Typically, in developed markets, there are greater number of ATMs than bank branches. But in India it is the reverse,” Mr Chandnani said. The SBI group has over 14,000 branches across the country. ICICI bank, the second largest bank in India, has less than 3,000 ATMs in the country.

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