Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hybrid Kiosks / ATMs run Linux

As noted by newsforge:

"Amstar Systems manufactures and sells "automatic cashiers," cash dispensing machines that run on a modified Red Hat Linux. These super ATMs allow those without bank accounts access to financial transactions that previously only bank customers could access.

"The Amstar kiosks are designed to cater to customers who cannot read or write, with audible instructions and easy-to-understand graphics. Farris says he has also developed a special application that employs audio to assist the blind in using the kiosks.

"Amstar's newest kiosk, still in testing, offers paycheck cashing services. The client inserts a driver's license into the kiosk and the machine captures the data off the magnetic strip. The client must then answer a series of questions in order to further insure a positive identification. The client creates a PIN, and the machine issues a prepaid MasterCard debit card. Then the check is inserted and scanned for bank information and to determine the tendered amount. The user may choose to receive the full amount in cash or have some or all of the balance attached to the debit card.

"Clients can find kiosks inside retail stores, as standalone units in indoor or outdoor shopping centers, and inside banks. Kiosk owners make money by charging a fee for each type of transaction."

Read the complete article here.

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