Monday, October 21, 2013

Business of ATMs: SBI's Rs 4,500 crore contract indicates growth of ATM market in India

IN A bid to achieve the finance ministry’s target of installing ATMs in every branch of the bank, country’s largest public sector lender State bank of India (SBI) has entrusted the task of installing 7,850 ATMs across the country to leading cash management services firm CMS Info Systems. The biggest ever such deal done by any private company for a PSU bank for setting up ATMs, it will cost the SBI whopping...
Rs 4,500 crore. The company won the deal in late August and has already started deploying ATMs across India. By the end of October 2013, CMS will deploy around 700 ATMs in the country, Rajiv Kaul, vice-chairman and CEO of CMS Info Systems told a daily. In fact, if the public sector banks are to achieve the finance ministry’s target of installing ATMs at all their branches by the end of the current fiscal, 26 PSU banks will together have to install 28,942 ATMs, or an average of 137 ATMs a day. The finance ministry has directed the banks to have ATMs at all their branches as part of its financial inclusion drive. Finance minister P Chidambaram said in his last Budget speech that "public sector banks have assured me that all their branches will have an ATM in place by March 31, 2014."
There are around 30,000-35,000 ATMs installed every year now over the last two years and the market is expected to reach 1.50 lakh ATMs by end of this financial year and three lakh ATMs by 2017. Each of such ATMs costs around Rs 3.50 lakh and the deployment of all the ATMs will take around seven months.
By the end of August, SBI had 3,339 ATMs left to be installed in the current financial year. The bank has 15,000 branches in the country.
“We have won the single largest ATM deployment contract awarded by any bank in the country that will include implementation services, maintenance and support for seven years," the Mumbai-based firm said in a statement.
CMS will install ATMs made by South Korean company Nautilus Hyosung, a leading provider of banking automation and self-service solutions worldwide.
"In executing what is possibly the single largest ATM deployment in the world, we will leverage our cash management network of 2,500 cities/towns and experience in project management to improve access, uptime, and quality of service for the bank's customers," Rajiv Kaul of CMS said in a statement. The focus area for such ATMs will be semi-urban and rural areas. The network will provide infrastructure for multiple financial inclusion initiatives such as the Direct Beneficiary Transfer (DBT) scheme.
Though the ATM business has seen a robust growth during the past couple of years, with 130,000 machines in operation, India still has a low penetration of 110 ATMs per million population compared to 900 for other emerging markets. India had 124,072 ATMs operational as on 30 July, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) website.
As per the deal, CMS will implement services, ATM installation, maintenance and support for seven years. “As end of September, India has 1.30 lakh ATMs across the country from 55,000 ATMs three years ago. With the Government’s plan to set up an ATM with each branch of a bank, we see a lot of opportunity in future,” Kaul said in the statement.
But there is still a long way to go in this direction as penetration is very low at 110 ATMs per million population compared with 900 on an average in other emerging markets, CMS said. China has more than 200 machines per million people and the US 1,300 ATMs per million.

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