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Self-service with SIM dispenser - A new solution by NTS Retail, Pyramid Computer & Michael Telecom AG

If you are a frequent traveler, you might be able to relate to the following: It’s late at night or early in the morning. You’re arriving at the airport. Roaming charges are expensive, you might not even get any signal at all. Before you even get to call a cab to your hotel, you’ll find yourself in need of a network connection. The first step along the way often lies in acquiring a SIM card.

The self-service kiosk, which was presented at this year’s NRF and EuroCIS, is the result of joint efforts by NTS Retail, Pyramid Computer and Michael Telecom AG. The use case is as convincing as it is simple: A touchscreen-based self-service kiosk with a document scanner, face recognition and a SIM dispenser is used to provide a fully autonomous onboarding procedure for prepaid customers. Potential subscribers can purchase a SIM card with their passport data being recorded and their identity being verified in the process. This way, the operator not only provides a quick way to obtain an activated SIM card, but also ensures a strong level of security against fraud and identity theft.

A valuable service for travelers at key international hubs

In many countries, providers position booths at airports, which offer special packages for tourists and expats. Often, the employees are required to scan the customer’s passport and save a copy to the system. The SIM card is activated right away by the staff, usually covering steps which could just as well be performed by the customers.

From a traveler’s perspective, such services are greatly appreciated, because they provide immediate assistance right upon arrival. Problems occur though, due to potential language barriers (even though the staff may speak perfect English, this does not necessarily need to apply to the customers) and limited capacities. Although most airports operate around the clock, customer service booths may be required to stick to certain opening hours.

Clearly presented offerings and accelerated processing

The highly international, fast-paced environment at an airport forms an excellent example use case for automation using current technology: A machine is capable of communicating in any language, does not need to take a break and can be maintained remotely – with the exception of refilling SIM cards and printing paper. An ideal premise for 24/7 operation in an environment, where countless languages are being spoken and people are hurrying along constantly.

Great usability, as well as a high quality of service, are key to making automation a success. An automated solution may never raise more questions than it provides an answer for. In order to offer an actual benefit, proceedings must function intuitively and smoothly at any given time.

Kiosks soon to be rolled out in Germany

Soon, the kiosk solutions might become a constant presence in Germany: Handy.de intends to roll out the kiosks all across Germany in cooperation with Michael Telecom AG. We can’t wait to catch a glimpse of the first few kiosks “in the wild”!

 

About Gerd Eberhardt

As Head of Research & Innovation at NTS Retail, Gerd oversees the design and development of solution prototypes as well as the research efforts conducted internally and in joint projects. Leading a team of dedicated researchers, the goal is to leverage new technologies into exciting products to keep NTS Retail ahead of the curve in retail innovation. Gerd is an expert at transitioning ideas into well-conceived product candidates, an expertise, which he shares with students at the University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg in his role as lecturer.