BankHive: from Idea to Implementation

The History of NoteMachine

NoteMachine was established in 2006, with the acquisition of two companies: Scott Tod and TRM. Scott Tod offered the opportunity to take a relatively small business and operationally scale it to become what is now one of the biggest ATM providers in the UK today.

Scott Tod had invested in its IT infrastructure to support the business, from monitoring the ATM’s cash management all the way through to servicing and maintenance. Scott Tod had also done something different: unlike other ATM providers, they insourced all their services. 

Uniquely, in the ATM world, Scott Tod had an in-house cash-in-transit function. It used a different kind of model, based on just-in-time delivery, as opposed to scheduled delivery, which the big cash-in-transit providers typically use. This allowed Scott Tod to provide benchmark levels to optimise cash availability, so the ATMs are only replenished when they are about to run out of cash. 

Organic growth

Between 2006 and 2012, NoteMachine continued to grow steadily. As a champion for free-to-use cash, NoteMachine was installing about 1,000 free-to-use ATMs per year at one stage.

Off the back of the two acquisitions, and then through further acquisitions of banks’ remote estates – starting with Santander’s remote estate of about 1,000 machines in 2012 – NoteMachine has grown to become the UK’s second largest ATM provider, accounting for 20% of the cash dispensed in UK cash machines.

Becoming a Brink’s Company

In October 2022, NoteMachine was acquired by the Brink’s Company, who recognised us as a centre of excellence for ATM managed services. They saw a huge opportunity to further grow the business in 2023.

Today, NoteMachine also offers fully managed ATM services to a number of high street banks, as well as being at the forefront of a changing bank branch landscape, with the exciting launch of the innovative BankHive hubs.

The beginnings of BankHive

In 2019, the topic of cash on the decline was high on everyone’s agenda, across financial institutions and within government. Access to cash and ATM usage was dwindling, so the NoteMachine leadership team wanted to diversify the core proposition of what we provide to the market. 

We approached Rebecca Browne to join NoteMachine in 2019 as Head of Client Services. Rebecca had previously worked for a successful competitor, which also offered a fully managed service to banks. Her former IMAC Programme Delivery Manager role meant she had the transferrable skills and experience to bring her valuable insights to NoteMachine.

Core service proposition

The start of the diversification process began by breaking down our core service proposition, which was known by the brand awareness name, ‘NM1’. We began a two-year campaign in 2020 with the objective of building awareness of NoteMachine in the market and our comprehensive range of managed services. 

Building brand awareness

The concept for BankHive originated from the apparent demand for bank branches to have an alternative solution to their currently provision: outsourced managed services. During the brand awareness exercise, where we spent six months just talking to as many financial institutions as possible, banks were telling us time and again that they wanted their ATMs to be managed. 

We realised that the market requirement was for an outsourced solution for an alternative bank hub. The phrase ‘Branch Transformation’ was coined, which looked like something different for every single bank. Bank branches had the dilemma of how they could digitise what they currently offered to the market whilst reducing overheads, remaining present and still facilitating the need for cash. 

The diversification journey

NoteMachine conceived the idea of ‘NoteMachine Express Banking Solutions’, rendering out how they could deploy a banking hub. 

Our unique proposition was to provide a fully managed outsourced solution built on in-house transaction processing capabilities, something none of the other IADs could provide. NoteMachine had acquired large banking ATM estates in the past, which helped build the core service proposition. 

A new deposit solution

With our transaction processing platform, NoteMachine saw an opportunity to build a secondary product: to take cash and dispense it. We developed an active deposit solution in 2019. The subsequent deliverable was onboarding a bank customer to a deposit solution and diversifying our ATM estate.

The development process was rigorous. As we gained more traction with potential banking customers, we started to make 3D renders of how they could create a facility to include a deposit machine, additional banking services technology and a meeting room. This resulted in what is now known as ‘BankHive’.

BankHive was born

The opportunity arose in 2021 to pitch to TSB with our brand awareness exercise. The Covid pandemic slowed discussions for a while, but TSB returned to continue the ‘bank transformation’ chat, and the seed was sown.

TSB has been the first to market and recognised the flexibility the BankHive solution gave them. Other banks then began to take notice. There are not many places to deposit cash: just in bank branches, which are depleting by the day, and at the Post Office, where other services and products can get in the way of simple banking transactions.

In summary

NoteMachine can now offer banks an alternative cash withdrawal and deposit solution via our transaction processing platform. With a desire to diversify our core proposition, we are onboarding customers to the BankHive scheme, enabling banks to have a different presence in the UK market for their customers to deposit cash and also a place where banks can continue to service their customer base. We are filling the current void in the market and hope to continue to do so for more financial institutions in the future.

To find out more about the benefits of BankHive, contact Rebecca Browne ([email protected]).

BankHive – the bank branch of tomorrow, where it is needed today

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