TD Bank Financial Group says it will be able to offer complete ABM access to the disabled as well as a slew of enhanced features to more than 10 million users within about two years through a $420-million deal with HP Canada.

The two firms say the seven-year outsourcing contract will include

upgrading about 2,400 Green Machine automated tellers and point-of-sale transaction systems across the country. The agreement covers help desk, integrated management and data centre operations. About 50 of the bank’s employees will move to HP.

TD’s Green Machine network is a hybrid of several terminals, predominantly Diebold with some Wincor Nixdorf and a few NCR products. Although the oldest equipment is only about five years old — much of it was replaced or upgraded following TD’s merger with Canada Trust in 1999 — compliance issues forced the bank to seek out an outsourcing partner about two years ago, according to TD vice-president Chuck Hounsell.

“”It’s not ancient by any stretch of the imagination, and some of it is as new as deployed last year,”” he says. “”But with all these standards, a lot of these machines need to be either replaced or substantially upgraded.””

Part of the structure of the deal, Hounsell says, is to facilitate an opportunity for other financial institutions or switching partners — banks that operate on the same ABM network — to examine the fruits of HP’s work and see if they could benefit from it. These might include transportation firms that deliver cash and repair bank machines, for example.

Laurentian Bank, ATB Financial and other banks have already signed long-term outsourcing agreements for their automated teller networks with HP services rival IBM Canada. In some cases, these deals involve upgrades that will allow banks to advertise services within specific demographics by identifying profile characteristics once users enter their personal identification number. Hounsell can see the benefit of creating a button that allows a user to withdraw a preferred amount of cash based on past transactions, but he drew the line at turning tellers into marketing machines. It’s important to reach customers individually and tailor services, he says, but in terms of using the units as an advertising channel, “”we’ll do very little of that,”” he says.

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