News Briefs

ATMs will start getting personal with users

Canada’s automated teller machine (ATM) manufacturing industry has reached a milestone with the production of the 50,000th unit at NCR Corporation’s Waterloo-based facility in Waterloo, Ont. It took NCR six years to produce 50,000 ATMs, and the company now expects to double that number in only three years. NCR reports that the capabilities of the ATM are also increasing, noting the advent of Bluetooth wireless technology could have a significant impact on worldwide ATM usage. Bluetooth will provide the link between the mobile world and self-service devices such as the ATM — with the consumer carrying the interface (PDAs, etc.). Gone will be the ATM that simply dispenses cash, predicts NCR. In the future, this self-service “touchpoint” will connect mobile media, with the print and delivery facilities offered through the ATM. As well, personalization of the ATM will include specialized services that are targeted directly to the consumer. NCR suggests your future local ATM could greet you by name, ask you if you would like your “usual $50”, and give you the option of adapting the screen to suit your specific needs, all in an effort to become more personal. Since ATM production began in Waterloo in 1995, NCR has tripled its workforce from 100 production employees to close to 300, has gone from one ATM model to eight, and from 1,300 units shipped a year to an expected 13,000 in 2001.