Breaking the ice: The US meets cash recycling ATMs (finally)

If you’ve been around the ATM industry during the last several years, you will have heard a lot about cash recycling technology. But if you’ve been around the industry in the U.S., you won’t have seen it deployed. At all.

Some in the industry believe that this is bound to change; Elan Financial Services and Nautilus Hyosung America say that, in fact, change has begun already.

Last month, the two companies announced their collaboration on what they believe to be the first cash recycling system installation in the U.S. on behalf of a bank based in Flushing, Queens, home to New York City’s fourth largest business district.

The bank, which chooses to remain anonymous, introduced cash recycling as part of a branch reboot, and chose the Nautilus Hyosung MX8800 cash recycler to meet the purpose.

An EMV-enabled unit, the MX8800 features a 24-inch upper screen and a 15-inch lower touch screen on the consumer-facing side and a 15-inch operator panel on the back of the machine. The device is equipped with five configurable cassettes for multidenomination bank note dispense and deposit.

The MX8800 is the keystone of the Hyosung branch transformation equipment package; the company advertises its ability to “automate many routine teller transactions seamlessly and [provide] a variety of options for supporting the customer in person or via remote video conference.”

Just about the only thing America’s first cash recycler could not do was run on a U.S. based processing network, simply because it had not previously been called upon to do so. Working with Elan, Hyosung certified the device to the bank’s core and the Elan network within 90 days.

According to Suzanne Galvin, senior vice president of product management at Elan, 90 days represents the “formal” timeline for implementation, but in reality, future installations will probably be somewhat faster, now that it has certified the machine to its network.

ATM Marketplace spoke with Galvin recently about the Flushing installation — and the benefits of cash recycling as a component of branch transformation.

Q: What was the impetus for finally bringing cash recycling functionality to the U.S.?

A: That was one area [cash handling] that has been a big cost for many financial institutions. The need to be able to reduce that cost is really one of the last bastions of cost reduction and management for retail banks.

So, from a multidenominational perspective, [customers are] able to deposit multiple denominations, those go into the relevant cassette, and then the next transaction, whether it be that customer or somebody else, that cash that has been deposited can be then withdrawn. And it reduces the frequency with which cash in transit activities need to take place. So it’s a cash management plan and strategy.

Q: Tell me about the process involved in preparing to bring this new functionality online.

A: [W]ith any vendor, we go through the same process. We certify that device to our system, to the transaction suite that the particular manufacturer or customer wants to deliver to their customer base. And the supporting core needs to be able to support that transaction set as well. So there’s certification that’s required there. So it’s really client to the core, client to us.

We have certified in our environment all of the functionality required to support the various devices that Hyosung makes. So we support the MX 8800 to support traditional transactions like withdrawals, enquiries, transfers, but also doing deposits — and they are unique in having the multidenomination capability and also supporting the cash recycling aspect associated with those devices, too.

Q: Now that Elan has certified the device, what kind of interest are you seeing from customers?

A: We have a really healthy funnel at the moment in the support of this technology. A lot of financial institutions are looking at the whole topic of branch transformation and they’re looking at this from the perspective, as you well know, of trying to improve on the customer experience, but also helping to reduce their costs of operation in the retail environment.

So we’re getting a lot of inquiries for these devices because, as well, the multidenomination piece is a real interesting component. We’re seeing more and more customers [who], if they’ve traveled internationally, have had the opportunity to withdraw in multiple denominations and, of course, this was a requirement in order to make recycling an effective solution as well. And now that Hyosung has delivered this capability, it has taken one step further in terms of being able to meet customer needs and deliver on an enhancement to cost reduction, which is the cash recycling piece.

It’s something that many of the vendors have flirted with, but I think the time is right now, and I think Hyosung has been in the right place at the right time.

Q: Would this technology be more exclusive to larger financial institutions, or can it be implemented cost-effectively for smaller FIs, as well?

A: I think this is very applicable to the small and midsize banks because I think more than ever before, they’ve been really burdened with all of the costs associated with running a retail bank. The regulatory cost, the cost of security, the cost associated with just operating an ATM fleet because of all of the enhancements that have been required to those fleets for all sorts of reasons. They, because they’re smaller, don’t have the base in which amortize that cost over. So I think it’s kind of an undue burden that they’re faced with.

At the same time, they want to expand their footprint, they want to expand their customer base, they want to keep up with the Joneses and ensure that they’re able to deliver an excellent customer experience to their customers.

So when you look at all of those challenges that they face and then look at what they’re seeking to deliver to their customer base, having a solution such as the Hyosung solution really is a great fix to all of the challenges that they face.

So they have the functionality inherent in the device at a very competitive price, a very reliable device, with enhanced functionality that is in demand now more and more in the marketplace. And it allows those smaller banks to deliver to their customers the set of services they’re looking for, yet at a competitive price.

Source: Suzanne Cluckey