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150,000 ‘Cash-Recycling’ Bitcoin ATMs to be Sold in China, India

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM

Japanese electronics giant OKI is launching a new ‘cash-recycling’ ATM for emerging Asian markets to enables bitcoin holders to withdraw local currencies from their digital wallets.

Tokyo-based Oki Electric Industry, also known as OKI, is a Japanese electronics manufacturer that commonly sells telecom equipment and printer systems in over a hundred countries around the world.

The company is now targeting emerging markets with a focus on financial technologies. Launched today, the ‘Recycler G8’ is the company’s newest product, which it claims will bring benefits to cash-heavy emerging markets. Cash recycling ATMs take bills deposited by customers and dispense the same bills back for withdrawals by others. Less than a third of the world’s 3.3 million active ATMs are cash recycling machines.

‘The very large volume of cash circulating in emerging markets has generated demand for increased efficiency in teller operations at financial institutions,’ the company said today.

As a solution, the ‘Recycler G8’ promises reduction in operating costs, 50% faster processing speeds, the largest banknote capacity in the ATM industry, and better security in an age of cyber-threats. A novel fail-safe feature sees the machine marking the bills contained inside with a special ink if it sense tampering or is damaged. It is immune to card-stealing malware. It accepts physical cash, even in multiple currencies in the same stash, counting 12 bills per second, a 50% faster rate than other deposit ATMs.

‘OKI plan to sell 150,000 units of this model over the next five years in emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia, where market expansion is expected,” the company stated.

A lesser-known fact – the ATM also provides an interface for users to transact with their smartphones at the front of the unit. ‘The front of the unit provides a ledge where users can place their smartphones for improved usability even for transactions linked to e-payments made possible by FinTech advances,’ states the company’s press release  today. This e-payments feature, as reported by major Japanese publication Nikkei , includes support for bitcoin.

An excerpt from the publication reads:

It lets users link their online bitcoin wallets to the machine in order to withdraw funds based on the virtual currency’s market price, as well as deposit physical cash into their digital stashes.

The ATM will also reportedly enable users to make changes directly to digital currencies alongside customized features specific to the state of digital currency in the country of installation. China, known for being a significant bitcoin trading ecosystem, is underlined as a target market by OKI, according to the report.

Intriguingly, OKI has no plans to deploy its ATM in Japan, where adoption and interest in bitcoin are booming due to recent legislative changes that acknowledge bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

Featured image of Chinese yuan stack from Shutterstock.