NCR unveils Android OS ATM
Automated Teller Machine giant NCR is taking the money machine to the cloud with a new Android OS thin-client system it is billing as the biggest change to the ATM since the machine was invented 50 years ago.According to the technology innovator, the new generation of ATM will revolutionize the way automatic teller machines work.The new product launched yesterday ushers in a software that could make ATMs reside in the cloud.Moving ATM software to the cloud could reduce the cost of ownership by $540,000 to $800,000 a year for every 100 ATMs, NCR said. That translates to between 27% and 40% savings. Primarily, the savings come from not having to visit every ATM to do physical software installations or updates as thats gonna be done remotely.NCR at the moment don’t have that ongoing cost of constant Windows upgrades that have become a real problem for the industry.The company also unveiled the NCR Cx110, an ATM with a curved interface on a thin bezel and the 10-inch touchscreen replaces the traditional pin-pad.NCR estimates that 75% of the world’s 2.2 million ATMs still run on Windows XP despite support ending a year ago.It is estimated a bank with a network of 100 ATMs could save up to $800,000 a year with Kalpana in operational and security costs
Kalpana software also seamlessly blends into existing banking and IT infrastructure, connecting to existing ATM networks and other consumer-facing channels to allow transactions and services to be shared and re-used elsewhere according to NCR.Most ATMs currently use a Windows OS and can be costly and difficult to upgrade. When Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP last year it was still the OS running most of the world’s ATMs.The companies operating the machines were faced with a large-scale migration to Windows 7, in many cases requiring physical access to each ATM.Currently, ATMs typically run on thick-client technology, which requires each ATM to have a PC core and an operating system, as well as applications that reside in the machine itself. Thin-client devices use mobile- and tablet-based technology such as the Android operating system, and the applications reside in the cloud.About four or five years ago when we bought our new desktop computer. There were hours of loading software, configuring changes.Whereas now,buying a new Android tablet or smartphone and we are up and running 30 minutes out of the box.That’s the sort of technology NCR is applying.Shifting to cloud-based operating systems could prevent a variety of fraud problems as well.
This is because with no more PC core and a thin-client operating system, there are no more points of compromise. There are no more USB ports where criminals can plug devices into, and that’s why NCR’s seems to be really locking down that system.Robert Johnson, marketing director for ATM software at NCR, said the “slow and painful” transition for traditional ATMs was still nowhere near complete.By contrast, “Android gives a developer access to the source code, so we can build in security and get the level of control that some other systems might not give us,” he said.”Once we have written in the security add-ons they will carry through and we can upgrade without having to rewrite all the security.”Along with the new OS and physical machine, NCR now also has Connections, a server-based architecture for managing customer services.Connection offers the ability to provide a consistent user experience across different channels, including mobile devices, NCR said. A coder working with Cardtronics, the world’s largest retail ATM operator, recently told me that they will soon be piloting the Kalpana software and Android ATM in San Francisco and Texas.The era of greater range of services for bank customers like entering his or her personal identity number at a terminal and safely withdrawing money using a smartphone or fingerprints will now be a reality with Kalpana software.