BEL to manufacture micro ATMs, citizen verification devices

Bharat Electronics (BEL) announced its foray into manufacturing Micro ATMs and Citizen Verification Devices (CVD).

Capable of strengthening financial inclusion in the country, the portable BEL Micro ATM can facilitate a low-cost payment platform for all type of card transactions using a magnetic strip card or contact and contactless chip card.

“A banking professional carrying cash separately can execute banking operations in remote locations facilitated by the Micro ATM,” said senior BEL staffer V. Mahesh overseeing their production.

He said the device which looks like a point of sale machine is fully secure and tamperproof, currently being used for Public Distribution System (PDS) schemes in some states.

Mahesh said nearly 5,00,000 Micro ATMs will be required in 2-3 years as central government is directing state governments to deploy such a solution.

BEL is currently executing its initial order of 4,000 Micro ATMs.

“Basic transactions such as deposit, withdrawal, funds transfer and balance enquiry are supported with voice confirmation and print-out,” said a BEL statement about the device which will also tap into Aadhaar database to authenticate transactions.

Talking about CVD, BEL chairman S.K. Sharma said, “The Registrar General of India has asked us to provide a device with a special application software for door to door census collection required for government schemes. CVD is basically a customised tablet PC.”

Sharma said BEL had done similar projects for other government schemes as well, supplying nearly half a million tablets already.

“We gave 1,000 CVDs on a pilot basis,” he said with the likelihood of more being produced in the future.

BEL is also venturing into solar energy with plans to produce 150 MW to be exclusively used by the defence industry.

First project under solar energy will be ready in six months, said Sharma.

The BEL is also installing rooftop solar energy installations in Bengaluru with an aim to produce 6-10 MW in 2-3 years.