In the mid-nineties ATM operator North American Cash Systems (NACS) discovered their cash was completely out of control. Their ATMs were full, yet their armored carrier in Florida had some half a million lying around in their facility – idle. The company clearly needed a way to control their vault cash – and fast. Software seemed the obvious answer. But where do you get programmers?
In a fit of genius, Gary Faulkner and his business partner at NACS posted a sign in the computer center at the local university. It read: “Wanted: Smart People to Replace the Dumb Ones We Just Fired” and it then went on to describe the Access® based vision they had for a system to control NACS ATM cash.
Fortunately for NACS, their plea for help was spotted by a computer science major down on his luck, Alif Rahman. “I had a job delivering pizzas at the time but my car had just broken down, leaving me essentially unemployed,” he says. “I was broke and needed to pay my rent so I jumped on this opportunity.”
Rahman recruited his roommate, Mahmud Hossain, to partner on the project and contacted NACS.
“Alif and Mahmud knew how to program a system but they didn’t know anything about Access, which is what we wanted,” said Faulkner. “But they also said, ‘buy us the book and we will rock your world,’ so we bought them the book.”
The roommates eagerly read the Microsoft Access technical manual from cover-to-cover and produced the Access-based system just one week later. NACS dubbed the system NACSTRAC (North American Cash Systems Total Reconciliation and Control), and created a sister company, North American Cash Services, that used NACSTRAC to provide vault cash to several ATM ISOs.
After NACS was sold in November 1998, Gary went to work for Diebold, Alif finished his Masters in Computer Science and Dr. Hossain completed his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering.
But these intrepid University students were not finished with the NACSTRAC program. The roommates continued to mull over the ATM management program they had built for NACS and how they could make it better. The simple answer was, “do it in SQL and make it industrial strength.”
In 1999, armed with this new software, the pair incorporated Morphis® and setup shop in Lafayette, LA. They closed their first sale to Diebold in 2000, competing with ICOMM (now owned by Fiserv) and Transoft (now part of NCR) for the business.
Now operating as a full company, Morphis continued to research and improve their technology. In 2001, the company received a commission from an armored carrier to create software capable of managing the complex logistics required the fulfillment – loading, balancing and reconciling – of the ATM cash loading process. This was quickly followed by an opportunity to help a well-known central bank with an even more complex cash management problem – managing coins. The system Morphis developed facilitated a complete process overhaul by the bank. Soon, the Morphis team, which Faulkner officially joined in April of 2004, realized it did not have just ATM management software – they had software capable of managing the end-to-end currency supply chain for both notes and coins.
As Morphis has grown, their software has evolved to better fit all aspects of the currency supply chain they support. The software is delivered in customizable modules to allow companies to utilize only the systems and support they need – and add modules as their business grows. The change in development has created a reliable, convenient and robust system that is not only affordable but capable of fully supporting any currency supply chain business – from an independent ATM operator to a global corporation.
“In the future,” said Rahman, “we see Morphis as the engine that drives the interactions throughout the currency supply chain.”
Help ATMIA celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ATM and the 20th anniversary of the association by sharing your stories. Contact Sharon Lane, ATMIA Global Director of Member Services, at +001-605-271-7371.