ATM management — 23 January 2012
Going Green with Your ATM

By ALAN ANDERSON, business development director, NCR distributor Bytes Managed Solutions (South Africa)

Few people would equate the ATM as a key area for reducing environmental impact, but this is the case. These machines have become an indispensable part of our lives, and they are everywhere. It is therefore a key focus area for responsible banks in reducing their carbon footprint.

Here are some of the ways ATMs can be made more green, and financial services decision-makers should look for ATMs that fit these criteria:

  • Give customers the option of printing a receipt. While printed receipts can be a very important part of the transaction for some customers – especially for confirming automated check deposits – not all customers want or need receipts. Alternatively, two-sided thermal printing (which prints on the front and back of the paper), can use paper more efficiently and cut total paper volumes. Increasingly, consumers are open to receiving a text message or email as a form of receipt.
  • There can be a lot of wasted paper throughout the ATM supply chain, so some vendors have focused intensely on the entire supply chain, from creation of paper to recycling of tally slips. Typically, this includes chlorine-free paper, recycled paper and 40% post-consumer waste. It’s not only the right thing to do, it costs much less. So everyone wins.
  • NCR SelfServ ATMs incorporate features such as intelligent cheque deposit, remote diagnostics and self-healing. These features reduce the maintenance, material, energy and fuel costs associated with financial transactions. NCR SelfServ ATMs incorporate dual paper roll capacity, significantly reducing paper roll waste, as well as patented two-sided thermal (2ST) receipt printing. These features can result in less fuel being consumed by service calls.
  •  Banks should should align themselves with ATM manufacturers that have developed and implemented a Corporate-wide Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management Plan. This allows companies to measure carbon emissions and then measure progress towards target reduction. And remember, every ton of carbon saved by a supplier counts towards a bank’s overall carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas is real and it’s here to stay as a business input. ATM Manufacturers, such as NCR, have already developed and installed solar-powered ATMs, with banks and financial institutions gaining significant benefits from this innovative solution.

ATMs consume electricity. They need to be on 24x7x365, and that is the reality. Around that reality, though, there is much ATM manufacturers can do to differentiate themselves and assist their banking customers to offset their carbon footprint. This list is but a starting point, and in the endless quest to reduce man’s impact on earth, ATM manufacturers have a role to play.

And they can help their customers with their own carbon footprint at the same time.

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