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FIRST NATIONAL BANK EXTENDS PRESENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH DIEBOLD ATMs

Diebold cash dispensers will enable bank to expand reach

(WINDSOR, UK) – South Africa’s oldest financial institution, the First National Bank (FNB), recently implemented 500 Opteva® cash dispensers from Diebold in retail locations nationwide as part of its strategy to extend its reach across South Africa. Deployment of the terminals began during the first quarter of this year and will continue through 2006.

The purchase of Diebold’s Opteva automated teller machines (ATMs) will enable FNB to offer self-service banking capabilities in areas where it had previously lacked presence, primarily due to the high costs involved in operating stand-alone devices.

Mike Arnold, CEO of FNB’s ATM division, said the bank’s selection of Diebold is a break from tradition. “After previously conducting business with other companies in the industry, Diebold’s reputation, combined with its service capabilities, convinced us that Opteva was the right product for our needs.”

“One of our main requirements when looking for an ATM supplier was to have the right product to increase our penetration in the South African retail market. This is a big country, and conditions are not always right to have bank representation at every location. Diebold’s Opteva ATMs are ideal for FNB to extend its reach across the country,” he said.

Diebold will deliver maintenance services to FNB through its partnership with local supplier Banking Machine Services (BMS). Diebold will provide FNB with first- and second-level software support and, where applicable, will assist BMS personnel with service delivery.

Andrew Brown, managing director for Diebold South Africa, said: “Diebold is proud to expand its presence in South Africa through new relationships with customers like FNB. Diebold has a proven track record in South Africa, and we provide an unmatched level of support. Our innovative Opteva family of ATMs, coupled with our strong business alliance to deliver local service, was a winning combination in this deal with First National Bank.”

Diebold’s lobby cash dispenser was launched in the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region during CeBIT 2005. The compact terminal was engineered to handle high transaction volume at a low total cost of ownership, making it affordable for off-premises deployment. The unit’s serviceability and basic configurations – which include the largest cassettes in the industry – help provide financial institutions and their consumers with maximum availability.

According to Arnold, FNB will partner with retail organisations for placement of the terminals. Those retailers will rent the ATMs from FNB, and will be able to generate revenue through transaction fees.

“Our goal is to provide retailers with a compelling incentive to keep the ATMs well-maintained and encourage their use,” Arnold said. “This positions FNB as a business partner, not just a service provider.”