NCR Corp. marketing director for ATM software Robert Johnston sums up Kalpana, the company's new thin client ATM solution. The company premiered Kalpana at last week's ATMIA US 2015 Conference and Expo at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas — not in an exhibit space of its own, but in the Cardtronics booth, where the solution was demoed on an NCR CX110 cash dispenser, the same model that Cardtronics is using in its forthcoming rollout of the thin client technology in pilot tests.
"Rollout" is the operative term that differentiates Kalpana from previous permutations of ATM thin client technology, Johnston said in an interview with ATM Marketplace.According to Johnston, Kalpana (which is Sanskrit for "imagination") exists on an entirely different plane, as a ready-to-deploy solution — "imagination in action," you might say.NCR Kalpana™ software is a cornerstone of our CxBanking strategy, which focuses on seamless integration for more efficiency, growth and security for you — and more personalized experiences for your customers.NCR Kalpana is a CxBanking application that leverages CxPlatform technology to reinvent the financial self-service channel. It enables flexibility and rapid deployment so you dramatically reduce costs as you gain more freedom and choice. And its ground-breaking security model is designed to eliminate malware.
NCR Kalpana software frees you from the high costs and constraints of disconnected legacy infrastructure.
- Enterprise-driven creation, delivery and processing of transactions
- Enablement of thin-client ATMs like Cx110
Today the average ATM is a "fat client" (aka "thick client") Windows-based system — in effect a robust PC running a software stack, antivirus protection and various other agents. Each of these is fairly complex, with management done by separate systems."What happens with Kalpana is all that capability is now in the enterprise server, and the CX110, which is the piece of thin-client hardware that goes with it . It has a minimal software stack on it," Johnston said. "All it's got is enough to securely run an operating system, which, on this operating model happens to be Android. And really, that's all that's there."
Every transaction and service the consumer sees on the ATM monitor is provided through enterprise, Johnston said. And anything that happens on that thin-client CX110 has to be signed off by the server. So nothing can happen there that's not seen or controlled by the server.This means that malware-driven jackpotting exploits such as Ploutus, Padpin and Tyupkin — all of which require hard disk access at the machine level — can no longer be carried out by cyberthieves. No hard drive, no hard drive tampering."So it removes all of the malware, virus threat and all the rest from the client," Johnston said. "The results are then a much easier management profile because through that server, you can see everything that happens on the ATM.
- Operating system agnostic architecture
While Android apps have been known to have some security issues in the Google Play world, Johnston said that the open source platform does not have these susceptibilities in Kalpana. NCR's choice of the platform was based on this and a number of other considerations, he said.The first of these was that Microsoft doesn't offer a thin client option for Windows, which got the long-used ATM OS scratched off the list in short order.This left NCR with a limited range of OS choices. One of the other "hot favorites" currently getting attention in the ATM world is Linux. However, Johnston said, that platform has "a slightly confused and disjointed distribution strategy."Also, he said, NCR wouldn't have had the desired degree of control over the current thin client versions.
"Particularly in the security," he said. "We felt that the security was much tighter with Android. And in Android, we have control of the source code as well, so we can execute the updates in there that will traverse through different and future variants of Android. We won't have to build the whole thing every time ".Johnston noted that because the system NCR developed is agnostic, the architecture will allow the introduction of other operating systems time in the future without substantial changes on the server side.
- Resilient, configurable switch integration
- Unsurpassed flexibility and integration across channels
This results in tangible gains for you:
- Cost Savings – 27% to 40% reduction in ATM network total cost of ownership, equivalent to savings of $540K to $800K per year on a 100 unit CD network. (Based on data from NCR, customer and analyst sources)
- High Security – world’s first ATM security certification to PCI 4.0.
- Increased Efficiency – rapid deployment and updates, with up to 50% less time to introduce new transactions and services.
- Amazing customer experience – easy integration across channels for more personalization and targeted services.