• Wireless ATM to boost PH financial inclusion

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    Australia-based 3C Enterprise Wireless Pty Ltd (3C Wireless) is aiming to enable banks to reach out to unbanked areas of the Philippines by providing wireless communication technology to automated teller machines (ATM), the company revealed in a presentation Wednesday.

    In a media briefing, 3C introduced its 3C Secure Network platform, which it says integrates wireless technology in ATMs to provide faster and reliable machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to banks.

    Based on a study by the World Bank in 2014, about 69 percent of Filipinos did not have bank accounts of their own, far above the global average of 38 percent.

    “Access to financial products and services is vital, especially for the marginalized sectors of society, because it is a catalyst for economic development and fosters inclusive growth,” 3C Wireless said.

    3C Wireless Executive Vice President Ted Marr noted that the 3C Secure Network would enable banks to deploy more ATMs to areas they are not yet serving, since having wirelessly connecting ATMs provides a more secure approach.

    Marr told reporters that at present, 99 percent of the ATMs in the Philippines still use copper wires to connect the machines, which makes the installation of ATMs in some areas difficult.

    “The geography of the Philippines makes it difficult to provide easy access to financial products and services. But by being able to connect ATMs wirelessly in a secure, fast and reliable manner, we are able to reach many Filipinos spread across the 7,107 islands,” Marr said.

    Secure communication

    The 3C Secure Network introduces the “Connect Live” feature, which is a suite of technologies that ensure that the carrier connection of the ATMs is available 100 percent of the time.

    “This technology will ensure that once the 3CSN router establishes a session, it will remain connected and live,” the company said.

    The wireless techhnology makes use of a router with two specially-made sim cards that provide a connection channel between the ATM and the bank.

    3C Wireless Vice President for Asia Robert Huddlestone noted that the wireless device provides banks with better security since they are connected through a corporate infrastructure.

    “So instead of going over the internet, they go over a direct path from the cell tower to the bank’s data center and that’s a private path. So they can’t be intercepted, you can’t go to these devices, because they go through a completely separate path than the normal cellphone traffic,” Huddlestone said.

    Huddlestone noted that the wireless technology allows banks to move closer to unserved people.

    “We allow the banks to move closer to these people and to help those people become part of the financial infrastructure,” Hudldlestone said.

    He added, that at present, the firm is already working on projects with four banks in the Philippines, and is in discussion with seven more.

    Marr noted that the company aims to have 51 percent of the ATMs in the Philippines to use the 3C Secure platform in the next three years.

    He added that there is plenty of room for more ATMs in the Philippines, as there are only 180 ATMs per million people in the Philippines, compared to the global average of 400 to 500 ATMs per million.

    The company said it has partnered with ATM manufacturer NCR Corporation, the largest ATM manufacturer in the Philippines, to provide local banks with the wireless technology.

    3C Wireless is an M2M financial solution expert focused on delivering innovative secure wireless solutions across the financial industry. It is currently present in Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and China.

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