This project has been a huge undertaking to deliver a custom kiosk software solution for NZ Post. The kiosk has two different variants, card only and cash and card. The main goal for this implementation was to deliver a kiosk application that can take bill payment services off the current counters to a self-service environment. The system needed to be able to utilise the existing PostLink infrastructure.

Flexible Interface Design

The user interface for this kiosk application has two main areas. The first is the customer interface, where customers either scan a barcode to start their transactions or choose using onscreen buttons to find the transactions by supplier. The second is the concierge interface. This is where a kiosk support person can check a transaction has been completed, manually complete a transaction or reverse a transaction depending on the desired result. There are also many other administration functions that can be carried out using password and barcode protected areas within the administration interface.

Kiosk Management Tool

In this application the client required complete control of the user interface including custom error messaging as well as remote monitoring. We developed a web application based interface for the support team at Datacom in Wellington. This application is also used by NZ Post staff to manage content and messaging between kiosks and the PostLink backend.

Hardware and Payment Platform

The hardware used for this project comes in two different versions. The EFTPOS and Credit Card payment version is the NCR Self-serve 60 and the cash capable unit is an NCR V5 Self-checkout. The software running on both of these versions of the hardware is the same and is configured to each hardware setup. The card only units don't have many of the hardware peripherals that the V5 has and uses a different bar code scanner. There is also a difference in the screen size as the SS60 is a 17" screen and the V5 is a 15". The base software dynamically resizes the interface to the current delivery platform so when changes are made they only need to be made once.

The cash system in the V5 is based on technology from many years of ATM development. The coin system recycles coins and gives change as well. The notes are accepted and then "banked" in the secure storage box, while notes are dispensed as change in three different denominations. These two systems are the most reliable and widely installed in self-service environments around the word. The V5 is used in many supermarkets in New Zealand as self-checkout systems.

Kiosk Cash management

A full cash management system was developed for the V5 cash acceptance unit. This allows the client to cash up the system and remove all coins and notes as well as adding to current levels. Coins can be manually added or machine counted into the on board hoppers to facilitate coin recycling.

There are currently around 30 kiosks deployed around New Zealand in various configurations. These have proved to be very successful and we expect to see many more in the future.

Phosphor were selected as part of a relationship with NCR to help us develop the Bill Payment kiosk which was a significant and challenging project both parties. We enjoyed the experience of working with Phosphor and found them to be very customer focused, both on the end customer experience and in responding to our needs.

Mandy Smith, Head of Agency Services, Kiwibank ,,
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