We are proud to announce the recent launch of the Altron FinTech ACS Smart Kiosk. We sat down with Nico Els, Head: Card Personalisation at Altron FinTech to learn more on this new venture:
How did the idea for the Altron FinTech ACS Smart Kiosk start, and what was the thinking behind the project?
We are living in an era of independence, of entrepreneurship and of re-inventing the norm. Industries adapt and continuously re-invent themselves to ensure the needs of their customers are addressed and served. The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we live and the way we do business to the extent that the new “normal” may never go back to the way it was.
Consumers can do almost everything online or independently, and we felt that self-service in the financial market might be a game changer. Imagine the convenience of standing in front of a smart kiosk and being issued with your new financial card instantly whilst not compromising any of the security aspects associated with the issuance of a financial card.
Nico Els, Head: Card Personalisation at Altron FinTech
We wanted to design a kiosk that is robust, aesthetically pleasing and that can be used in several market segments. Our eye-catching kiosk will allow our customers to offer something different to their customer base when compared to their competitors. The standalone structure can be used for multiple card issuance schemes and the eye-catching touchscreen serves multiple purposes – allow your imagination to take flight.
Self-service is changing the way we do business, and we believe the smart kiosk can become an essential card issuance device that addresses the fast-changing needs of consumers.
What are some of the benefits of the kiosk?
Arguably the biggest benefit of the kiosk is the versatility of the design that can easily be adapted for many different market segments. We already alluded to the fact that the kiosk can be used by financial issuers for the issuance of financial cards.
The kiosk could be a used for the issuance of loyalty cards and at the same time be a showcase for retailers to spotlight information on loyalty schemes or reward programs, real time promotions, weekly discounts, customer service information or used for the display of high definition, product orientated videos.
Other market segments that can consider the smart kiosk are Healthcare, Casinos, Security companies, Universities, or other Institutes of Higher Learning, all of which can benefit by using the kiosk. Card issuance is quick and seamless and the 17” touchscreen allows end users to have a similar experience to using their mobile devices. We believe this interface familiarity coupled with ease of use is another huge benefit.
Another benefit is the easy access to all the components, which ensures that the kiosk can easily be serviced and maintained on-site by trained technicians.
Tell us more about the kiosk itself.
The kiosk is constructed from powder coated plate metal, ensuring we achieved an aesthetically pleasing look and a high degree of durability. As part of the design process, we ensured that we could provide customers with the choice of a free-standing device with own pedestal, or alternatively, a desktop mounted version of the same device.
The smart kiosk is equipped with an industrial 17-inch touch screen, which has been used very successfully in the retail environment. We also equipped the kiosk with internal power distribution, allowing safety and power connectivity to multiple devices such as the Windows PC that complies with industry standards and the internal router for connectivity purposes.
It is still early days, but we believe it should be easy for customers to integrate the smart kiosk, as they can utilise their own applications to promote new accounts, handle enquiries, capture demographics and metadata in line with POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act), whilst being able to issue a card.
How does it compare to similar products in the market?
The smart kiosk has been designed with flexibility in mind. There are many different types of kiosks in the market, and these are used by the various market players to fulfil specific requirements. We believe that the versatility of our device will make it a real contestant in several of these market verticals. At this stage, we are engaging with potential customers to explore opportunities.
How do you see this product expanding in the future, and how can Altron FinTech ACS improve on it?
We have no doubt that the kiosk, or derivatives of the kiosk, will be used by consumers in the foreseeable future. In order to address specific market segments, we undoubtedly will have to incorporate additional features which could include biometric identification, payment portals, statement print outs and more. The requirements will be investigated and incorporated, should the business case study prove it to be a worthwhile commercial venture to embark upon.
How do you see the future of these types of innovations in the next 5 – 10 years?
Earlier we alluded to the fact that customers should allow their imagination to take flight. The versatility, ease of use, functionalities incorporated, future upgrade paths and many more aspects could really change the way a smart kiosk is used, and we are excited to be part of these potential journeys.
We look forward to seeing the development of this initiative in future!
To learn more about this product, click here to watch to short video.