Panasonic sees growth potential in lithium-ion batteries that allow ATMs to operate during power outages in India, having secured a deal with global automated teller machine leader NCR.
The Japanese company is to deliver batteries and uninterruptible power supply systems for 40 ATMs that U.S.-based NCR will install soon in India. NCR currently runs some 130,000 ATMs in that country.
ATMs with backup power supplies are the norm in India due to frequent blackouts. Diesel generators are the most common power source, but these require fuel and maintenance.
Lithium-ion batteries let ATMs operate for 24 hours after the electricity supply goes down. Demand for such systems is projected to grow in India, where the total number of ATMs is expected to more than double from the 2014 level by 2020. By also signing contracts with ATM manufacturers other than NCR, Panasonic aims to supply batteries for 100,000 of the machines in India by 2020, eyeing a market share of 20%.
Panasonic plans to supply the same type of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries that it provides for the electric vehicles of Tesla Motors. It is looking to make the batteries at several sites, mainly in Japan.
Panasonic also intends to market a system that monitors the status of ATMs, including whether they need repairs.
India's government is pushing for all citizens to have bank accounts, with 179 million accounts created in the year through August 2015. A plan to pay government assistance through bank accounts is expected to drive sharp growth in the number of ATMs.