Just Because You're Illiterate Doesn't Mean You Shouldn't Be Able To Use The ATM

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to get money from an ATM that doesn’t want to display its menus in English, you know it can be aggravating. But imagine what it must be like for someone with no understanding of any written language. Now there are new ATMs being created for use in developing regions with lower literacy rates.

Vending giant NCR has come up with these pillar-shaped ATMs that use a biometric fingerprint sensor instead of a PIN and color-coded buttons of preset cash denominations instead of a menu screen.

From Scientific American:

The cylindrical shape is designed to minimize places where a crowbar might be applied to pry open the ATM. As an added measure of security, the machine’s cash box is designed to collapse in on itself if the ATM is breached.

“The invention of this unit was based on our examination of the underbanked in India, particularly in the neighborhoods of Mumbai,” says NCR’s vice president of Design and Consumer Experience. “We’re talking about a community with a high level of illiteracy, so clearly the typical ATM that someone would approach would be impossible to maneuver.”

So the company took the design of Indian mailboxes as the inspiration for the shape. As for the reason the machine prints receipts for customers who can’t read them? NCR found that users wouldn’t consider a transaction complete without some form of receipt.

New ATM Designed For Semi-Literate and Illiterate Populations [Scientific American via Gizmodo]