TT100 Awards Interview: Spark ATM Systems

Established in 2005, Spark ATM Systems is an independent ATM deployer in South Africa, with over 4 000 ATM installations countrywide.

From its head office in Cape Town, the company’s dedicated team co-ordinates its expanding ATM network, including sales, installation, maintenance, monitoring and reporting activities.

What is the core focus of your business?

Spark ATM is an Independent ATM deployer with over 4500 ATM locations across the country. We are proud to be called the partner of choice for many of SA’s banks to fulfil their cash distribution needs across the country.

What have been the company’s biggest highlights in the last year?

The way our 170 strong team responded when we implemented our COVID-19 response plan was spectacular.

The real test of any organization is the ability to adapt to adversity and Spark ATM has been a shining star during the pandemic. Not a single retrenchment was made and the whole team received their full salary for the entire lockdown period. I am very proud of this.

Could you tell us about your future plans and upcoming programs?

One of our most successful programs is the Future Managers Forum. This was created 3 years ago to nurture the up-and-coming talent in our business. The program is only open to non-managers and they attend lectures and must submit assignments which are run by an external lecturer. Many of the graduates from this program have progressed into managers and this has created a strong homegrown middle-level management structure.

We are also planning to launch the Touchline ATM in 2021 which will be the first ATM assembled in South Africa. The ATM features a Linux operating system and a large full-colour touch screen. We believe this device will disrupt the market and quickly become the gold standard in the industry.

Why are programs like the TT100 beneficial to enterprises?

Winning a TT100 award is an amazing accolade for the team. It allows all the efforts of the many kilometres travelled, after-hours work attended and thousands of phone calls fielded to become recognised and shared with the team, our business partners, and our customers.

How has winning the award impacted your business?

We have walked a long road the Da Vinci crew at TT100 as we have been recognised in all their business categories i.e., as an emerging enterprise 2009 we won the Management of People and Overall Award for Excellence; in 2011 we won the Management of Technology as a small enterprise; in 2012 the Sustainability Award as a medium enterprise; in 2020 the Awards for People, Systems, Sustainability, and the best of all was the Minister’s Award for Overall Excellence. 

It is most gratifying that after ten years we can still impress the TT100 panel and affirms our commitment to building an organisation with a foundation in Passion, Integrity and Excellence.

Winning these awards gives our team, our partners, and our customers the confidence to continue an important relationship with Spark ATM knowing they are dealing with the best-in-breed.

What advice would you give to future leaders who are starting out within the same industry?

I would say the payments space is an extremely rewarding and challenging environment. Like all endeavours, it comes with challenges at every step. There are a few key decisions to be made around your partnerships when it comes to servicing equipment i.e., do you bring it in-house or outsource it. Then there are the requirements around capital expenditure which will need to be tested rigorously.

Once these fundamentals are in place then I would suggest moving onto the vision, values, and goals of your organisation. It is critical to have these firmly laid down as your foundation for growth. You will be tested time and time again but if you stick to your vision, values and goals be prepared for interesting times ahead.

Lastly and most importantly, never forget to have some fun along the way.

Staff writer