Vortex – Solar Powered ATM for Rural India

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You cannot really afford ATMs in Rural India that needs electricity to run. As banks expand to rural India, there will be a need for more home grown solutions and most importantly, a rural solution (rugged) to reach out to the segment.

Vortex, an IIT Chennai incubated startup has developed solar powered ATM targeted for rural India and the solution built with partners works for large banks as well as smaller ones.

The solar powered ATMs consumes less than 10% of the power used by normal ATMs and has low Capex.

How does Vortex ATM works?

Normally ATMs use a complex Cash Dispensing Mechanism where the cassettes are horizontal and at bottom of the ATM and cash is moved from the cassette through a conveyor belt upwards to dispense cash in the cash presenter in ATM. Also they use CRT monitors in many models as well as full-fledged PC boards consuming power.

Vortex has developed a very elegant and innovative Cash Dispensing Mechanism, protected by patents, that does not use any conveyor belt and the cassette is mounted vertically and in the top half of the ATM. This makes the notes dispensed from cassette to travel only a short distance to the cash presenter in ATM. So, it uses much smaller and low-power consuming motors and hence able to operate under very less power. Vortex ATM also uses lower-power consuming processors and LCD displays that consume much less power and Linux as OS.

Vortex ATMs how do they work

Low power consumption ensures that the heat generated by Vortex ATM are negligible. Also, it uses hardened components that can operate under ambient temperatures of up to 50 deg C. These ensure that Vortex ATMs can operate without any air-conditioners up to 50 deg C, which feature is not offered by any other ATM.

The Vortex ATMs are certified for most ATM Switches and hence can be connected to the bank’s ATM Switch in the central location and it continues to perform in the CBS  (Core Banking System) environment. For banks on TBA (Total Branch Automation), wanting to provide Any Branch Banking (ABB) without upgrading to a CBS, Vortex ATMs can be used along with Olive ATM Switches (Multi option)

The startup has raised funds from Oasis fund, Aavishkar and Ventureast.

Also see: Designing Mobile Phone for Rural India – The ‘Steampunk’ Approach

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