ATM manufacturer NCR today said the controversial demonetisation exercise impacted its business in the country with revenue growth slowing down to 8-10 per cent from the earlier up to 18 per cent levels. The company, which is the largest deployer of automated teller machines in the country with over 1.06 lakh of them in force, said banks were not going in for new machines and it was majorly replacements of older machines which helped its revenues. “That (revenue growth slowdown) is largely because of the impact of demonetisation,” its country managing director Navroze Dastur told reporters here. Exuding confidence that the revenue growth will return back to normalcy “in a quarter”, Dastur said typically, the company used to ship out over 25,000 machines every year, which slowed down to 16,000 in fiscal year 2016-17 as a result of the demonetisation exercise.
It can be noted that the move to ban Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes in a surprise move on November 8, 2017 has impacted a slew of sectors and is being attributed by some watchers for a slowdown in the economic growth to 6.1 per cent in January-March 2017 period. The company, however, welcomed the move saying it is indeed better to go less cash but added that no economy can go cash less. Its general manager for global markets, Joao Perez said Indians reacted “emotionally” to the move and will concede that they “over-reacted” to it in one or two years. The US-based executive said banks continue to order machines but are a bit “cautious”.
Meanwhile, when asked about reports of shortage of cash over the last two or three months, Dastur hinted that this is because banks are prioritising branches over the ATMs when it comes to allocation of cash. He also added that not much of cash is getting “re-circulated” or coming back into the system. Meanwhile, the American company today came out with a new line of machines, which can do a slew of functions apart from cash dispensing like Aadhar-based account opening and giving personalised debit cards instantly and clearing bearer cheques to dispense cash.
Watch this also:
“These will do 90 per cent of the transactions done in a bank branch at a fraction of the cost. A 2,000 square feet branch reduces to 200 square feet,” Dastur said, adding it costs an average of Rs 60 to service a customer at the branch versus Rs 15 at an ATM. The machines will cost almost 10 times the normal ones, he said, specifying that as against the Rs 4 lakh for an ATM, these will come in the range of Rs 30-50 lakh depending on the functionalities which a bank chooses. It has already deployed three such machines for two banks and expects to rollout “hundreds” more in the coming time, Dastur said, without giving a target.