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COVID-19 impact on Bank's ATM Operations & Profitability

Sathyan Gopalan, CEO of Vortex Engineering
Sathyan Gopalan, CEO.

Trust this message finds you well. I write this in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world at large grapples with the health crisis and businesses evaluate the challenges related to restarting operations, while at the same time adhere to the new norms and the “new normal” related to lockdowns, social distancing, remote working and other logistical constraints.

Vortex Engineering has a decade of experience in supplying and implementing cutting edge hardware & software products targeted at the ATM/Self-service industry, with a focus on addressing the key challenges of the day and I would like to briefly bring to your attention the likely COVID-19 impact on the ATM/self-service industry and its consequences.

Based on interactions with multiple banks across countries, ranging from medium to large sized ATM networks, some of the key COVID-19 related potential challenges, as foreseen, are listed below:

Increased Regulatory Compliance requirements on ATM operations driven by greater security threats & higher sensitivity to citizen grievances resulting in higher cost of operations/compliance and the increased reputational risk to the bank.

Decrease in TAT from in-house branch/departmental staff and vendors related to ATM servicing & operations, translating to reduced ATM availability, lower transactions & eroding customer satisfaction.

Negative Impact on ATM P&L due to lower footfalls, lower availability, lower transactions rate, lower surcharge & interchange fees.

Expected responses from financial institutions will include an increased focus on operational risk & customer service issues and a rethink of the ATM business strategy including optimizing the cost of operations & to extract more revenue from each ATM through better monitoring practices and increasing the overall ATM network availability. As with any other crisis, we strongly believe that the joint human endeavor, supported by an excellent digital strategy and the use of process-enabling collaboration tools will empower the staff to address the above challenges effectively.

As social distancing mandates constrain branch visits, self-service offerings from banks are expected to see increased usage. Ecoteller®, our well-established family of cash dispensers, has already earned the reputation of offering the lowest lifetime cost of ownership in the industry, built upon a proprietary low power dispenser & a unique open-source software stack. This software stack has eliminated the huge costs of upgrade & replacement related to the software upgrade cycle, which plagues ATM fleets today. In addition to ongoing projects, the Vortex R&D teams are also working on various technological enhancements to make our ATMs safer for customers to use, including contactless NFC card readers, pre-staging of transactions & card-less cash withdrawals, UV based note cleansing, e-Receipts,etc.

Perfo®, our industry-leading ATM monitoring, management & analytics tool can assist banks & operators who manage large ATM fleets to address challenges related to regulatory compliance, dispute resolution, ATM availability and business performance analytics, all at the lowest cost available in the industry which makes ROI in 12-18 months a near certainty. Furthermore, it has the latest Smartphone app-based alerting system, which enables efficient collaboration in today’s remote working environment.

If any of the above subjects are a priority to your esteemed bank, I request a message on in order to take the engagement forward. I look forward to your continued patronage.

Best Regards Sathyan Gopalan Chief Executive Officer


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