Friday, August 19, 2005

Conference on kiosk/ATM convergence

Greg Swistak, Executive Director of the Kiosks.Org Association, wrote a nice article on industry thoughts about the convergence of interactive kiosks and traditional ATMs. Here's a clip:

"According to [ATM company] Tranax chief operating officer Dr. Hansup Kwon, Tranax is committed both to developing a range of self-service terminals based on convergence and to developing a complete line of self-service products and solutions for them.

"'In exploring new markets with a view toward creating and delivering new products,' Kwon said, 'it wasn’t a matter of simply converging any and all functionality found on a kiosk with an ATM. We looked at the characteristics of an ATM — security, reliability, transaction-based, use of an EPP, cash dispensing etc. — and from there it was a matter of determining which self-service applications currently found on kiosks and other machines would be complimentary to the functionality an ATM provides, thereby creating a terminal that delivers true value.'

"In the case of ATM and kiosk convergence, it’s apparent that one plus one does not equal two, at least from a cost perspective. For a ticketing kiosk to provide ATM functionality, for example, many ATM components (the CPU, bill dispenser, card reader, printer and cash vault, etc.) would need to be duplicated. But conversely, for an ATM to provide ticketing functionality, ideally, it would be as simple as adding a few more components to the ATM, doubling its functionality for a fractional cost increase.

"Practically, converting ATMs to kiosk functionality has been done in a couple of ways: starting from scratch, or adding the necessary components in a box or sidecar attached to the ATM. The second option increases the width of the machine and provides a secure location to store the extra bits needed to complete the conversion from ATM to kiosk. As a case in point, the U.S. Postal Service’s Automated Postal Center kiosk was, at its genesis, an ATM."

You can read the rest of the article here.

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