With cash on the outs with many pandemic-wary consumers and merchants these days, payments firms are looking for alternatives. One such option is a so-called reverse ATM, a machine that takes in cash instead of dispensing it to allow users to convert paper money into an electronic payment instrument. An example is Toronto-based XTM Inc., which on Thursday announced it will begin this month delivering its reverse ATM to venues such as sports stadiums.
The XTM machine activates and dispenses an open-loop, prepaid Mastercard-branded card loaded with the value represented by the cash inserted by the user. As a pilot, the company has deployed one of the machines at Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto and has three more on order for the venue, which hosts games for the Toronto Raptors National Basketball Association team and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League.
Beyond this start, “we have pending orders for about 700 machines right now,” says Marilyn Schaffer, XTM’s founder and chief executive, as the company looks to such arenas as a natural market for the devices. The pending orders are from colleges, universities, and other stadiums, the company says.The cards dispensed by the machines, which feature a 42-inch touch screen, are EMV- and contactless-enabled, the company says, and can be dispensed within a minute after the user inserts his bills.