The European Payments Council (EPC) wants all ATMs in Europe, 398,040 as at the end of 2010 according to the European ATM Security Team, to use a standard cash cassette. It is claimed that this will lead to substantial savings in the cost of cash, as well as to benefits when integrating Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation Systems (IBNS's), which are activated in the event of a robbery or theft to stain the banknotes with ink.
The EPC is committed to driving for an increase in electronic payments and states that the introduction of a standard ATM cash cassette would be for the medium term to ensure the efficient management of the SEPA ATM infrasructure.
Apparently an initial dialogue has been conducted with cash-in-transit (CIT) companies, ATM manufacturers and vendors of IBNS. Hmmmn! These types of organisation are always looking to find ways to lock in their customers - the ATM deployers and the actual owners of Europe's ATMs. In particular the CIT industry has been known to try (often successfully) to dictate business terms to their banking clients. Is reducing the cost of cash a burning issue for such organisations that, after all sell their products and services for a profit to the ATM deployers? Or could this be another way to improve margins?
I can definitely see benefits to cassette standardisation, but any final decision on this in Europe needs to be taken by the ATM deployers and not by their suppliers. To read the EPC paper written on this topic by Leonor Machado, Chair of the EPC Cash Working Group, click here.