Bytes, US firm eye regional expansion
23 June 2010
US technology firm NCR Corporation and Bytes Technology Group, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, have extended a five-year agreement that will enable Bytes to offer a much wider range of innovative NCR solutions to its customers in South Africa and neighbouring countries.
NCR is the established ATM market leader in South Africa, according to Retail Banking Research. The new agreement with Bytes will drive further growth in financial services and expansion in additional industries, such as retail.
"Africa is strategically important to NCR and our agreement with Bytes is a clear signal of our commitment to provide technology solutions that enable South African companies to reach more customers and deliver an exceptional experience," NCR chairman and CEO Bill Nuti said in a statement this week.
The Bytes' offering includes the next-generation NCR SelfServ Intelligent Deposit ATMs, which enable customers to pay in cash and conduct bill payments, while cutting down queuing in the branch and freeing up branch staff to help more customers.
NCR has taken a lead in launching this technology in South Africa, and Bytes is set to extend this further by introducing NCR's Cash Recycling ATMs and Teller Cash Recycling technology, which enable banks to reduce cash replenishment and handling – a major cost issue for South African banks.
Bytes will also focus on NCR APTRA software, which helps banks to easily integrate online and mobile channel with the ATM channel. This development offers customers more choice of how and when they access banking services and information.
This integration also enables customers to send money to another party using their cellphones. The other party then has the facility to withdraw this money at any ATM. These services can play a key role in providing financial services to the under-banked and unbanked.
"We understand how consumers want to deal with companies across many industries in a seamless way through multiple channels," said Nuti. "In South Africa, we believe this growing consumer expectation creates a timely opportunity for companies to engage and serve their customers in a highly efficient way using the scale and breadth of our technologies."
Retail, hospitality solutions
As a leading retail checkout technology provider in South Africa, Bytes Managed Solutions will bring further innovation to the market through NCR's retail and hospitality solutions, such as Point-of-Sale terminals, NCR SelfServ Checkout terminals, NCR kiosks, as well as NCR Netkey digital signage and kiosk software solution.
NCR and Bytes Managed Solutions have been working together in South Africa for over 35 years.
"Through this partnership with a global company, Bytes is able to adapt these leading edge technologies to the specific needs of South Africa," said Altron group CEO Robbie Venter. "As a group, we understand the unique requirements in South Africa and across the African continent.
"We have a long history of partnering successfully with leading global companies and of combining this with our skills, experience, and our large services infrastructure to drive innovation in meeting fast changing consumer needs."
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