Consumer transaction technologies firm NCR enables more than 485 million transactions daily across retail, financial, travel, hospitality, telecom and technology sectors. Over 400,000 ATMs around the world run applications developed by NCR. The $6.123-billion US firm has its R&D centre in Hyderabad, which has become a critical hub for developing various innovations adopted by global financial institutions, like interactive teller ATMs and mobile cash withdrawals. The company intends to soon roll out interactive ATMs with smart connections and biometric validation, besides solar-powered ATMs. “The Indian ATM marketplace is booming and is expected to grow by over 300% in the next five years from the present level of 160,000 ATMs, thus providing huge opportunity for growth,” says Navroze Dastur, managing director, NCR India, in an interaction with BV Mahalakshmi. Excerpts:
How important is the Indian market, especially the R&D centre in Hyderabad, for your global operations?
NCR has been operational in India for over 17 years now. It develops significant technology and market-relevant solutions to cater to the needs of India and global markets. India is an important market and NCR is committed to continue making strong investments in the country. The R&D centre in Hyderabad, has been instrumental in developing innovative software solutions like the interactive teller, EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) contactless application, mobile cash withdrawal application etc. The ATM applications supported from Hyderabad run in more than 400,000 ATMs worldwide. The centre has shown tremendous competencies in terms of bringing next generation innovative
solutions for industries like financial, retail, travel and hospitality. Considering software being the key focus area in NCR’s global strategy, NCR’s Hyderabad centre, which is the largest software development centre for the company in the world, is central to the execution and success of NCR’s global strategy.
We are setting up a R600-crore manufacturing plant in Chennai. Considered as a strategic investment to fuel NCR’s future growth strategy in the Indian market, this facility looks at starting operations by next year. NCR’s management centre in Mumbai is the first of its kind in Asia, supporting a full range of financial self-service solutions and network management tools and has the capacity to remotely manage more than 25,000 ATMs around the country.
What are the new trends you see in the ATM category, given that you own 45% market share in India?
The new government has introduced initiatives to upsurge technology adoption across the country and mainly the rural areas. Two of the government’s flagship programmes—Digital India and Jan Dhan Yojana are gradually paving way to make every citizen realise the importance of technology for seamless transactions. Today, while a section of population in India demands an omni-channel experience with use of advanced technology, one cannot deny the fact that the rural areas still remain devoid of ATMs.
White Label ATMs (WLA) was hence introduced by RBI with an objective to give this a boost. Although it’s still early days, the scenario looks hopeful with Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana which will issue debit cards to customers in rural areas and lead to wider ATM penetration. Multifunction ATMs will also see an upward trend since beyond cash and dash, ATMs will offer services like bulk cash and cheque deposits etc.
What is the future of self-service technologies?
Consumers globally demand faster, secure and seamless transactions on the go. Hence, the future of self-service industry will be about embracing digital technology and shifting focus more on solutions that will help deliver an omni-channel experience so that the products are available to consumers at any given touch point. Today, consumers use digital outlets for simple transactions, and reserve branch visits for intricate dealings or problem resolution.
What are NCR’s growth projections for the Indian ATM industry?
The Indian ATM marketplace is expected to grow to over 300% in the next five years from the current level of 160,000 ATMs. The annual volume ATM cash withdrawals is set to rise by 25% by 2018, and as per a survey, there are only 88 ATMs per million people in India. Extension of banking facilities, entry of non-bank deployers, deployment of off-site ATMs and India Post’s emergence as bank will all drive ATM growth in India.
The focus on Digital India programme by the PM is synonymous to NCR’s vision as world leaders in consumer transaction technologies that are turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With our software, hardware and portfolio of services, we make more than 500 million transactions possible every day.