Spark ATM Systems, one of South Africa's premier independent ATM deployers has launched SparkWeb, an innovative secure web-based portal that allows ATM merchants to access their ATM's mission critical data remotely and in real-time. It is claimed to be the first secure web-based portal for the African ATM market.
The convenience of being able to make transactions when you want to, where you want to.
Reportedly the first time such a service is available in Africa, viewed data includes current cash levels in the ATM, transactional data, historic statements, transaction reports, reimbursement reports, cash dispensed reports (including average, maximum and minimum values) and ATM performance graphs.
According to the latest Retail Banking Research Report
, the Middle East and Africa regions are predicted to experience the fastest growing rate of ATM installations worldwide at 94% between 2009 and 2015. Innovations such as this will play a crucial role in the African continent achieving these forecasted growth rates. Other technological innovations
Being at the forefront of technological innovations in the African ATM industry, the company has brought many other first-of-its-kind technologies. These include pioneering dual-sim wireless cellular telecommunications for ATM connectivity, which allows ATMs to operate wirelessly, mitigating the need for landline connectivity and the development of SparkConnect, SparkView and SparkManage, an internally-developed software suite, which manages all transaction processing, switching, monitoring, alerting and management of the ATM network.
The inset shows the two ATMS in position.
In addition to the technological innovations, the company provides innovative customer-centred solutions in the form of automated merchant settlements for dispensed cash, SMS alerting for low cash levels and a prompt industry-leading, 6-hour return-to-service SLA agreement. Its merchants also have the option to capitalise further through the availability of franchise advertising opportunities and advertising rebates.Information is critical
According to Marc Sternberg, MD of Spark ATM Systems, as with any industry, having access to critical data is key to making well-informed and advantageous business decisions, while also enabling a deeper knowledge of consumer needs and trends, especially in the fast-developing African continent.
"By having access to this type of information, merchants can accurately predict busy periods and therefore ensure their ATM is fully stocked for these crucial times. Furthermore, merchants can access SparkWeb from their mobile phones or laptop, meaning they can be anywhere and still know exactly how their ATM is performing."
The new portal has myriad benefits to merchants from a business growth perspective. "For example, by accessing the reimbursement report, merchants can accurately predict exactly how much money will be reimbursed back into their bank account, thereby allowing them to make payments to their suppliers timeously, without having to worry about cash-flow issues."
Furthermore, he explains that merchants can keep abreast of their ATM's performance through the cash dispensed report, which compares current performance with the average, maximum and minimum values achieved over the searched period.
He adds this is a free service, which was developed by the company exclusively for its clients. "All the merchant has to do is take one minute to complete the registration process online. In tough economic times, this is a value-added service that is geared to provide merchants with a competitive edge and also making Africa on par with world-class standards. It provides the company's ATM owners with greater control over their ATM, ultimately allowing them to utilise their ATM to its full potential, while also presenting an opportunity for the business owner to improve all aspects of their business through a better understanding of their ATM's performance and the gathering of valuable customer data," he concludes.
Images accessed from the Spark ATM Systems website.