NCR Shifts Management of ATMs into Private Clouds

Mike Vizard
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NCR is looking to transform the management of automated teller machines (ATMs) with the launch of an application that enables financial services firms to more easily manage them remotely.

Brian Bailey, vice president of software and branch transformation for NCR, says the Kalpana software the company launched this week is a Java-based application that financial services firms deploy in their own data centers in order to manage ATMs via their own private cloud services.

On average, it costs $20,000 to physically manage an ATM. Bailey says that NCR expects that Kalpana software will reduce the total cost of managing ATMs by anywhere from 27 to 40 percent.

KALPANAIn addition to Kalpana, NCR is launching its first ATM based on the Google Android operating system. Because NCR has access to the core operating system kernel, Bailey says that NCR has been able to add security features that make the NCR Cx110 thin client ATM, which is based on Android, more secure than previous generations of ATMs that are based on Microsoft Windows. In addition, Bailey notes that in the Android platform, NCR has removed some functions, such as USB drives that criminals have been using to insert malware in ATMs inside branch offices.

Bailey says the existence of a thin client ATM also means that financial service firms can more easily deploy an ATM in settings that go well beyond a retail branch setting. The expectation is that this will increase the base of roughly 1.6 million ATMs that have already been deployed—especially, says Bailey, in emerging markets where ATM technicians are not readily available.

Longer term, Bailey says that NCR will expose application programming interfaces (APIs) on top of Kalpana to enable developers to build applications that customers can use to provide unique functionality on top of an ATM endpoint or to harvest data that can be employed within, for example, an analytics application.

As the number of digital services that can be delivered via an ATM continues to increase, it’s apparent that the management of the service is reaching a tipping point. The days when technicians need to be dispatched to physically fix or update an ATM are about to be sharply reduced and may be coming to a close.

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