More than 75 percent of India’s nearly 80,000 automatic teller machines (ATM) are located in metropolitan areas and large cities. Very few of these ATMs are located in rural and semi-urban areas, in large part because conventional ATM technology is often prohibitively expensive and unprofitable in less populated and remote areas.
Vortex, an engineering company based in Chennai, India, addresses this gap by providing uniquely designed ATM’s to suit the conditions of rural areas including erratic power supply, tough working environment, and lower levels of literacy among end users. Vortex’s ATMs are rugged, solar-powered and consume 90 percent less energy than a conventional ATM. These machines are therefore well-suited for poor, rural communities and profitable for banks to employ.
Vortex calculates that 10,000 ATM’s will provide access to formal banking for 30 million people—many earning as little as US $1-4 a day. Through the company’s commitment to the Business Call to Action, Vortex will make 80,000 ATMs available in rural and semi-urban areas over the next four years.
To date, the company has deployed 545 solar-powered ATMS to rural communities in partnership with the State Bank of India.