ATM maker NCR Corp. has bought a minority stake in uGenius Technology LLC.
The companies earlier collaborated on NCR's Aptra Interactive Teller, which they launched last year. That product uses an ATM's built-in camera to connect a customer to a bank employee. That employee can also control the ATM remotely.
NCR, of Duluth, Ga., plans to announce its investment Tuesday morning. NCR did not reveal the size of its stake in uGenius, of Sandy, Utah, or how much it paid.
With this investment, uGenius can expand its staff and increase its research and development, says Brian Bailey, NCR's vice president and general manager of branch transformation.
"What [the investment] is going to allow us to do is make sure we are very closely aligned" with each other, he says.
There is interest in uGenius' video technology overseas in both Western Europe and emerging markets, Bailey says.
Coastal Federal Credit Union in North Carolina was one of the first to test out uGenius' technology. It has been using the video kiosks since 2006.
Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union of Kingston, N.Y., has been using uGenius' banking kiosks since 2008. The credit union is also one of the first to use NCR's Aptra Interactive Teller machines for drive-up service, says Jed Taylor, uGenius' president and chief operating officer.
NCR's investment is a validation that video interaction has a concrete place in retail banks, he says. Twenty financial institutions in North America use uGenius' machines.
"It's very clear to me that this is a legitimate and future banking channel that won't just be in a few select banks," says Taylor. "It will be a banking channel that will be ubiquitous as we go forward."
Both NCR and uGenius are in talks with several major banks to deploy the Aptra Interactive Teller ATM, the companies say.