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Friday, March 17, 2017

an ATM that dispenses Car ..

Sure you withdraw money using your ATM card – were you among the ones who stood long hours in Queue wanting to withdraw ~ there are some of us who did not have to use ATM at all during demonetization peak and hence had little or no impact !  now things are normal.  Sure you would have noticed the warning on  withdrawal of ' Cash retract' feature – quoting Reserve Bank of India guidelines. The notification in the Bank’s website reads that ‘we have taken out the ‘Cash Retraction’ facility from our ATM’s machines. Do not forget to collect your cash as the cash will not be retracted in the ATM machine and will remain in the mouth of the ATM till the time the cash is not collected. It is advised to the customers that they should collect their cash as soon as it is dispensed, otherwise someone else might take it.’  - an official word that ‘cash might be taken out by somebody else ! sounds …… something like Police putting up a board of ‘theft prone area and goods left would be stolen’.  ~ well, we are used to this also !!


You might have heard  the term “Cash on the Nail” ? It means payment made immediately (everyone would love to have that). There is some reference to the old four pillars in Bristol of mid 16th century which initiated reference to the term ‘on the nail’ stating that business deals were sealed on these pillars. Now here is something read on a website of a e-selling Company :

No dealership : No middle men  =  Cutting out the dealerships translates to $1,500 of lower cost for us on every product that  we sell. What does that mean for you? We pass the savings on to you in four ways: lower prices, premium cars, a better experience, and no hidden fees.  And every product in our inventory is certified.  At Carvana, we know that trust begins and ends with the goods, which is why every product we sell comes Carvana Certified. The process begins well before you land on our site with our rigorous inspection and reconditioning process, and it continues long after we leave your driveway with our 100 day/4,189 mile “Worry Free Guarantee.” – can you figure out the product – it is ‘used Cars’

They say that buying a car is a hellish process. The reward for spending hours researching the right one is a trip to a local dealership — an experience that assaults the nerves in such a way that it's only rivaled by appointments with the dentist. But what if buying a car was easier than that? What if it was as easy as, say, a vending machine? A few years ago, a company called Carvana followed in the footsteps of companies like CarMax by trying to move the car buying experience completely online. The process of purchasing a car on Carvana's website includes all the steps that normally take place at a dealership: getting approved for and selecting financing, selecting a warranty, and signing the contract.

This left customers with just one dealership interaction: choosing pickup or delivery.  The website claims that it is over in minutes and  Carvana customers were choosing pickup — so much so that a subsequent pickup store in Atlanta was a rousing success. Now, though, Carvana is adding some spice to that experience. 

"We knew that if [customers] chose to pick up the car we would save some money, and so we could invest that money in giving them a really, really great experience," Garcia says. The result? A five-story, fully-automatic vending machine building for cars just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It's like the automated car delivery experience offered by Volkswagen in Germany, except this one is coin-operated. The new machine opened Tuesday in Austin, Texas. This is the third vending machine location for the Phoenix-based company. Carvana launched its first outlet in late 2015 in Nashville, and its second location in Houston opened last December. In person, the ethereal "vending machines" are really all-glass, five-story buildings, which contain three delivery bays and can store up to 20 vehicles, loaded in advance of a customer's pick-up.

The machines are a visible brick-and-mortar extension to a much broader online business. Carvana customers don't have to pick up their new purchases at the vending machines; they can also have the cars delivered directly to their doors. Carvana now has facilities throughout the U.S. that enable it to offer free, next-day delivery to local residents in nearly two dozen markets, including Austin, Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. The vending machine "serves as a metaphor for Carvana's business principles: easy and efficient, with the customer in complete control," CEO and founder Ernie Garcia told Fortune in an interview in late 2015

Though the customers pick up delivery after putting money on the slots, the Company claims that the customers  can begin a seven-day test ownership period. The vehicles undergo a 150-point inspection and come with a seven-day test drive and a 100-day or 4,189-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Carvana also touts a "no questions asked" return policy. The company says it will subsidize $200 in airfare and arrange transportation for customers who live at least 100 miles outside Austin and want to pick up their cars at the vending machines. The customers also get an initial test drive at pick up or delivery. Then, because it takes more than a 10-minute test drive to make a decision as big as a car, they allow what they call a 7-day test own period. Live with your car for a week and if you don't like it, we'll take it back no questions asked- is what their site says.

Automated milk vending machines are not totally new…. Remember that in many places in Chennai – Aavin had the facility of automated milk vending machines, where one needed to buy plastic tokens and when placed inside the machine, milk in prescribed quantity [1/2; 1 litre] used to flow… that was unpacked pasteurized milk and now Amul vends them in sachets. B u t – even today for some, the activity in ATM is done with trepidation, as one waits with bated breathe for the transaction to be complete and money received on hand.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Mar 2017. 

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