Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have become an integral part of modern banking, offering convenient access to cash and various financial services. Among the various types of ATMs available, the Brown Label ATM, also known as BLA ATM, stands out as a unique concept that has gained significant popularity in India. In this article, we will explore what Brown Label ATMs are, how they work, and uncover five other amazing types of ATMs that you probably didn’t know about.
What is Brown Label ATM?
A Brown Label ATM, also known as BLA ATM, is an automated teller machine where the money management and connectivity to financial systems are provided by a bank, referred to as the sponsor bank. However, the machine itself is owned by the manufacturer, also known as a service provider or vendor, and it is offered to the bank through a lease agreement. Although the ATM carries the branding of the bank, it is not owned by the bank.
These Brown Label ATMs are rented under the ownership of the service provider. It is the responsibility of the service provider to find suitable ATM sites and negotiate with property management for their placement. Additionally, the service provider must arrange for power supply, network infrastructure, and interior setup.
The ATM system in India is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years, mainly due to the innovative implementation of the “brown label ATM” concept by major financial institutions. This concept allows them to set up numerous ATM units in a short period. The key advantage of the brown-ATM model lies in the cost-sharing arrangement between the bank and the service provider.
Leading financial institutions like Axis and ICICI Bank, along with smaller banks such as Dhanlaxmi and RBL, have embraced the “brown-label ATM” concept. In fact, the majority of ATMs in India now operate as brown-label ATMs, as banks have moved away from the traditional approach of outright purchasing the machines and bearing all service costs. The popularity of the brown-label ATM model stems from its cost-sharing nature, which significantly benefits banks.
Overall, the brown-label ATM model has emerged as a viable alternative to white label ATMs and bank-owned ATMs.
How are Costs Shared in Brown ATMs?
As mentioned earlier, the primary unique selling point (USP) of the brown-label ATM concept is the cost savings it offers to banks. In this model, the initial capital expenditure is borne by the service provider, and the banks, in turn, compensate the service provider based on either a per transaction basis or through a monthly fee.
The services for which the banks make payments to the service providers include cash management, network monitoring, security services, and housekeeping.
In FY 2021, the average number of transactions conducted at an average ATM in a single day was 87 transactions, which includes both financial and non-financial transactions.
Now, let’s delve into the profitability analysis of Brown-label ATMs in India:
|Value in INR
|Cost per transaction
|Revenue per transaction
|Profit per transaction
|Number of transactions for break-even per day
|Coverage of investment after years
Benefits of Brown Label ATMs
The brown-label ATM concept offers two significant benefits to the involved parties. Firstly, since the vendor takes on capital expenditure, the banks are relieved from tying up their funds in a depreciating asset.
Secondly, there is a strong incentive for ensuring efficient utilization of these ATMs because the bank that issued the card pays a charge for each transaction to the vendor. However, some smaller banks with limited nationwide customer bases find it more cost-effective to pay other banks for each transaction rather than invest in their own equipment.
Major Brown-Label ATM Operators
Several companies operate Brown Label ATMs across the globe. Some of the major operators include:
- CMS Info Systems (India)
- Fujitsu (Japan)
- GRG Banking (China)
- HESS Terminal Solutions (USA)
- Hitachi Payment Services (Japan)
- Nautilus Hyosung (South Korea)
- NCR Corporation (USA)
- Wincor Nixdorf AG (Germany)
What is the Status of BLA ATMs in India?
The brown-label ATM network is expected to experience rapid growth over the next few years due to the substantial costs associated with ATMs and the regulations set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding ATM development. In recent times, there has been a noticeable shift in the way banks perceive the ATM industry. Instead of following the capital-intensive model used in the past, banks are now opting for brown-label ATMs or ATMs where the equipment and services are outsourced. This change in approach allows banks to reduce costs and streamline their operations in the ATM sector.
Types of ATMs in India Based on Operation
Apart from Brown Label ATMs, there are various other types of ATMs catering to specific needs. These include:
- WHITE LABEL ATMs
White-label ATMs are installed, owned, and operated by organizations other than banks, which have received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and are formed under the Companies Act of 1956. These ATMs allow transactions from any bank, and they do not display any specific bank’s logo.
Example: Tata Indicash, India1ATM
- GREEN LABEL ATMs
These ATMs are specifically used for agricultural transactions.
- ORANGE LABEL ATMs
ATMs with orange labels are primarily utilized for share transactions.
- YELLOW LABEL ATMs
These ATMs are dedicated to facilitating online shopping transactions.
- PINK LABEL ATMS
Only women are allowed to use these ATMs for banking services.
- BROWN LABEL ATMs
In this sort of ATM, the sponsor bank provides cash management and network connectivity, while the service provider owns the ATM’s hardware and lease.
Examples: SBI, HDFC, etc.
- CASH DISPENSER
Cash dispensers (CD) allow users to make cash withdrawals, view mini statements, make account-related requests, and check their balances.
These various types of ATMs cater to different needs and preferences in different locations and regions, ensuring convenient access to cash and banking services anytime, anywhere.
Difference Between White Label ATM and Brown Label ATM
The primary differences between White Label ATMs and Brown Label ATMs are as follows:
|White Label ATM
|Brown Label ATM
|Branding and Logo
|No specific bank branding
|Carries the sponsor bank’s branding
|Directly involved with RBI approval because these operators have to separately get licensed/permission from the RBI to conduct business
|No direct RBI involvement because the outsourcing companies have a contractual obligation with their respective sponsor banks
|Compulsory to open ATMs in specific areas
|No such compulsion for locations
|Owned by NBFCs or non-bank organizations
|Owned by the service providers
Brown Label ATMs have revolutionized the ATM industry in India by introducing a cost-sharing model that benefits both banks and service providers. These ATMs allow financial institutions to expand their ATM network rapidly without significant capital expenditure. Additionally, we explored other fascinating types of ATMs that cater to diverse banking needs. As the banking industry continues to evolve, the adoption of innovative ATM concepts like Brown-Label ATMs will likely play a crucial role in enhancing financial accessibility for all.
What is the main advantage of Brown Label ATMs?
Brown Label ATMs offer significant cost savings to banks as the service provider undertakes the capital expenditure, reducing the bank’s financial burden.
Which are some major Brown Label ATM operators?
Major Brown Label ATM operators include CMS Info Systems, Fujitsu, GRG Banking, HESS Terminal Solutions, Hitachi Payment Services, Nautilus Hyosung, NCR Corporation, and Wincor Nixdorf AG.
What is the average profitability of Brown Label ATMs in India?
The profitability of Brown Label ATMs in India is approximately INR 3.3 per transaction, with a break-even point of around 70 transactions per day.