When it comes to keeping ATM networks running effectively, a strong management program that ensures each individual machine is monitored and serviced regularly is a must.
However, there is more to ATM management than everyday replenishment and maintenance. Occasionally, operators will find the need to recalibrate or reconfigure their devices, such as in to accept different note denominations in response to customer demand or new requirements.
For instance, the introduction of new banking notes may require ATM operators to reconfigure their devices. In the UK, for instance, the last few years have seen the old paper £5 and £10 notes replaced by smaller plastic versions. Changes in both size and material mean ATMs will need to be adjusted in order to accept and dispense them efficiently.
Indian regulations demand recalibrations
One example of this is currently taking place in India, where the country’s central bank has issued a directive requiring ATMs in the country to be able to dispense the new 200 rupee note, which entered circulation in 2017. This will require engineers to visit each ATM and install new spacers within the trays to accommodate the new notes.
However, while each individual adjustment is fairly straightforward, such a move is no small task in the world’s seventh largest country by area, and with over a billion people. There are around 220,000 ATMs in India at present, and estimates about how long the process will take vary from three to six months.
The reason for the move is that at present, the majority of machines in the nation are only configured for 100, 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. The Indian government has been keen to encourage the use of smaller-denomination notes as part of a drive to reduce corruption and bring more people into the formal banking system – a move that also saw it take 500 and 1,000 rupee notes out of circulation in 2016 – so lack of availability of the new 200 rupee note has been a barrier to this.
The need for strong network visibility
When such large-scale changes are being made across a network, strong ATM management solutions that can offer banks full visibility into their machines is vital. Being able to see at a glance which machines already have the desired capabilities and where efforts should be focused is essential in developing a strategy that ensures changes can be made across the network as efficiently as possible.
As well as helping ATM operators plot the most effective strategy for their engineers, that ensure they are travelling to ATMs in the right order and prioritizing their efforts on the most heavily-trafficked devices, good use of analytics tools can also help banks define a more granular strategy for their networks, enabling them to set up their devices to better meet the demands of each location.
For instance, if a certain ATM has a lower average withdrawal value, it may be worthwhile calibrating it to hold and dispense more low-value notes that other ATMs do not offer, or vice-versa in areas with higher withdrawal values.
Whether it is down to new notes, government requirements or demands for better business efficiency, full visibility into what the ATM network is currently set up for is essential in ensuring that any changes that require physical access can be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.