Wednesday, 20 July 2011

One size fits all? Should Europe adopt a single standard ATM cassette?

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.


  1. There are many benefits to cassette standardization, lets see what comes finally. Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. From my point of view, i do not think that ATM cassette standardisation will be adopted. Since the creation of the ATM machines, most of the manufacturers strived their minds to find a proper combination of extraction/detection mechanisms closer to the container of notes. Many followed the path of friction operation, others went on vacuum, and others on more exotic methods. Each of these have a great impact on the way the cash dispenser is operated. I personally do not see a group of tech guys from NCR at the same table with some from WINCOR and a few representatives from Diebold striving to find a way to integrate all the benefits into a one fits all Dispenser. We don't have to forget that each of these companies invested huge amounts of money into thir R&D departments regarding the cash handling modules and on a short term i think they still have to recuperate that investment. Another problem are the cassettes with double functionality Dispense/Store, like the ones found in the new multifunctional machines let's say from KEBA. Their Dispensing/collection system is extremely complex due to the functionality it has to provide, and they also invested in R&D too much to be considered a new change ( this is just my opinion).
    Another issue i have to raise is the IBNS systems. For example some countries adopted this technology and it is as far as i know a requirement to have such a system installed on ATM machines but some countries do not adhere to this kind of feature. For example This IBNS feature is useless in Romania and Republic of Moldova due to the lack of legislation regarding this issue.
    Summarizing, this feature will put pressure first on manufacturers to develop a common acceptable dispenser, secondly will put pressure on ATM network owners. The price paid by both sides will be most likely too high for the benefit this feature brings to them.