IFC invests $2.7 million in ATM maker Vortex Engineering


Chennai: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, Monday announced it is investing $2.7 million as equity in the city-based low-cost ATM maker, Votex Engineering.

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The IFC, in a statement, said the investment was being made to help Vortex Engineering to expand its network of solar powered ATMs across India’s rural and semi-urban areas where people had limited or no banking services.

The IFC is, however, silent on the equity percentage it would acquire in the Indian firm with this investment.

“IFC’s assistance in implementing technology-led banking services would eventually help us take our offerings to other developing countries,” Vijay Babu, chief executive officer of Vortex Engineering was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to the IFC, the automatic teller machine (ATM) market in India is expected to grow three times over the next three years owing to the government push to extend banking services.

“The investment will help in taking basic banking and financial inclusion schemes to rural and semi-urban areas in India,” said Thomas Davenport, IFC director for South Asia. “Bringing banking close to home means a lot in a country where less than one-fifth of over 600,000 villages have a banking touch-point.”

Vortex Engineering’s machines accept soiled notes, unlike other ATMs that can operate only with fresh notes, and also can authenticate customers through fingerprints. The use of solar power also helps in rural markets lacking access to electricity supply.