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The global base of teller assist units grew by 3.8 percent between 2010 and 2012, according to new research from RBR. This relatively modest growth rate is lower than the previous two-year period, but should not be viewed as a sign that the recent resurgence of TAU demand is now on the wane.
The latest research shows a complex sector influenced by a number of overlapping trends mostly driving demand for more TAUs, but in some cases causing numbers to fall.
The first point to note is that two of the most mature TAU countries, Spain and Germany, have both seen reductions in the number of units deployed — in fact, if Spain and Germany are excluded from the figures — the remaining 22 countries surveyed showed a much more healthy 12.4 percent increase over the period.
The reasons for the TAU reductions in these two countries are also very different — in Spain it is a direct result of branch rationalization following the spate of recent bank mergers, while in Germany there is a continued move from counter to self-service for cash transactions in the branch.
The second factor that has held back recent growth is that TAUs are increasingly being viewed as part of more radical branch transformation initiatives. While in the recent past, financial pressures that many banks are facing may have constrained such initiatives, branch transformation will drive use of TAUs over the medium and longer term.
In countries such as Canada, Russia and the Ukraine, where foreign banknotes circulate widely alongside local currency, TAUs have the potential to provide valuable currency exchange services. Such solutions require a higher number of cassettes/roll modules than standard units, and the ability of suppliers to meet such needs, and other technical requirements such as integration of coin or check, will determine whether the role of the TAU will expand.
In contrast to ATMs, which are now well established in all regions, the TAU market still has good growth potential through geographic expansion. This, combined with a growing number of branch transformation initiatives and demand for innovative new solutions, should maintain interest in TAUs for the foreseeable future.
Reprinted by permission from Banking Automation Bulletin.
Companies: Retail Banking Research Ltd