IF YOU have ever used a self-service checkout at, say, Tesco, the chances are you have used electronic wizardry provided by NCR. With its headquarters in the USA and its global Centre of Excellence for the financial industry in Dundee , NCR has been a developer of cashpoints or Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for nearly four decades, and they are a familiar sight in banks and on high streets around the world.Now NCR is working with RBS to roll out a new generation of ATMs that will allow the bank's customers (individuals, small businesses, etc.) to pay in cash, cheques and coins, as well as withdraw cash.These Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs) are being introduced in RBS branches first, but eventually will become "points of presence" located in busy places, such as train stations.This trend of banking convenience is something NCR is pioneering globally, introducing new ways of transacting at a time and place that meets customer needs using multiple points of engagement.RBS recognises NCR's proven track record of innovation and its service to the bank over many years. The ongoing work involves a close partnership between the bank's retail and technological leadership based in Edinburgh and the NCR Centre of Excellence in Dundee.NCR's approach is not just about ATM technology, it's about understanding consumer behaviour and the changes in the way people do their banking. People want to bank where and when they want, and NCR is working with banks globally to make this a reality. Neill Harris , NCR's ATM Solutions marketing director, says: "[Globally], ,many banks are undergoing a transformation. They are redesigning and modernising branches and ATMs using the latest self-service technologies. This provides a better service for customers and an improved working environment for staff. We are the only company in the market today that offers solutions that can help banks with their entire branch transformation strategy."NCR has developed CDMs which go much further than simply accepting banknotes. The latest RBS CDMs also read cheques and print out a picture of the deposited cheque on the receipt. Small business will also appreciate the ability to deposit large amounts of coins in a machine which then does the counting for you.Convenience for its customers is RBS's watchword, and both NCR and RBS are committed to making life easier for consumers.The strategy which NCR and RBS is developing is aligned with the bank's cultural shift that is seeing RBS become more customer-focused, a philosophy that NCR embraces. Carol Hamilton , NCR's global marketing manager for branch solutions, says: "We always focus on the customer and improving their experience. Whether it's checking in at the airport or checking out your shopping at the supermarket, we understand what consumers want, and this includes being able to do more for themselves.""For example, self-checkout in retail has been adopted quickly by customers, and now we are looking to extend that concept into banking and provide consumers and business with more choices in way they can bank."Hamilton feels that NCR's strategy is not just about installing hardware, but also about changing the role of those working within bank branches.She says: "One of the important things for the bank is that their staff are freed from sitting behind a cashier desk and are able to get out onto the floor of the branch and talk to customers to build relationships.""They will be able to help customers carry out more complex transactions and talk to customers about their banking needs, rather than just sitting and counting cash, which is still one of the main roles of bank tellers today."Our technology will release them to improve the experience of consumers when they come into bank branches."The link- up between NCR and RBS also benefits the Scottish economy, as both are innovating and driving new banking experiences from their facilities in Scotland.NCR's Harris says: " Dundee has been our financial industry Centre of Excellence for a number of years and we have several hundred staff working in research and development, including product design, software and hardware engineering."We are at the forefront of developing new financial technology and it's fantastic to have a close relationship with Scottish banks, particularly RBS, as we work in a mutually beneficial way to create new and exciting experiences for people in Scotland and throughout the UK ."
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