NCR Teams With MIA To Launch UK ATM Advertising

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Much was made the week before last that NCR was to launch an “ATM ad” type service in the U.K which many people in the media buying space spoke to us about and who may have thought of it as particularly competitive to i-Design Group’s very own ATM:ad.

As is usual with press releases, especially from the large corporates there is much more to the story than at first meets the eye – especially as MIA and NCR have in fact been in partnership and promoting themselves to UK banks and Independent ATM Deployers (IADS) for some years now!!

NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), the global leader in self-service solutions, today announced that it has partnered with MIA ATMs Ltd, a specialist media buying agency, to launch the NCR APTRA Promote Content Service in the UK.

This is the first advertising service which is available to all 65,020* UK ATMs. Uniquely, this service enables automated teller machine (ATM) deployers with mixed Windows and OS/2 networks to display advertising campaigns across their entire ATM estate.

This includes ATMs on non-bank premises in retail, travel and entertainment locations, which present attractive opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences.

The agreement makes it easy for ATM deployers to “rent” the space on their ATMs to advertisers. MIA ATM handles the ATM media booking service and creation of advertising content. NCR manages the database that tracks availability of ATM sites and distributes the campaigns using a variety of multivendor software tools as required.

“Advertising can now be screened on convenience ATMs in popular locations, such as pubs, retail outlets and petrol stations as a result of this partnership,” comments Symon Buckman, NCR’s software specialist for the financial services industry, “This includes the 29,323** machines owned by Independent ATM Deployers (IADs) – many of which are non-Windows machines using dial-up rather than TCP/IP connections.”

Ads can be displayed on idle screens and “please wait” sequences during the transaction flow. A powerful call-to-action can be delivered on the transaction receipt, which can include take-away messages, money-off discount coupons or promotional codes.

Alexis Soteriou, CEO of the MIA Group comments, “The agreement represents a unique opportunity for everyone to benefit from this new cost-effective medium of advertising. The reaction has been entirely positive and encouraging with a great deal of interest being generated.”

Soteriou concludes, “ATMs deliver a captive audience, enable accurate targeting by consumer segment and are very cost-effective compared to direct mail or other traditional media. NCR’s support for legacy and new operating systems will provide advertisers with the greatest scope to target high quality, compelling ads to key consumer groups, and is unique in the industry.”

NCR is experiencing high levels of initial interest from the IADs and banks it is recruiting to sign up to its service. Already, MIA has a wide range of advertisers on its books from charities and public sector authorities to fast-moving consumer goods companies which have expressed a desire to run ATM campaigns. As advertisers only pay for the number of times the ATM ad is actually viewed, the success of a campaign can be measured much more accurately than traditional advertising media, such as TV and posters.

The claim that this new service has access to 65,000 ATMs is very misleading – ATM advertising is about the number of people the ATMs reach on a one to one basis NOT the number of ATMs in total!

Although IADs may operate almost 50% of the ATMs in the UK (most of which charge consumers to withdraw) they actually account for only a tiny percentage of the UK’s transactions.

Of the 2.7 Billion ATM cash transactions carried out last year, 96% of those transactions were carried out through Bank owned ATMs – that is, only 4% were carried out across IAD owned ATMs!

Whilst it’s good for the industry to have some competition in the ATM advertising space we don’t think that i-Design will be too worried about this, after all ATM:ad’s exclusive UK banking partners such as RBS, A&L and NBS account for nearly 1 billion of the UKs total annual cash transactions!

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