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This Diwali, BlueStone’s golden goose is an ATM

Athira Nair
27th Oct 2016
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While discounts and launches are indispensable parts of Diwali sales in online and offline retail businesses, online jewellery seller BlueStone’s strategy is something that stands out — literally. Although gold and other precious jewellery demand high security, BlueStone has made the move of dispensing gold from an ATM.

About the gold ATM that was installed at Bengaluru’s Forum Mall on Monday, BlueStone COO Arvind Singhal says: “There was no extensive marketing for the launch. But the ATM will continue to function depending on the customer response.” He added that many customers are coming to try the machine out of curiosity, while some mistake it for a cash ATM and try to withdraw money.

About 20 customers have purchased gold from the machine in two days, and about 100gm has been dispersed. The coins are in the weightage of 1gm, 2gm, 5gm, 10gm, and 20gm, in varying numbers as per BlueStone’s estimates. They are launching a gold ATM in Delhi too.

Better technology, more security

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Last year, many customers who were looking forward to buying gold during the Diwali season missed out on the opportunity due to work schedules and other personal needs. Recognising the need for a handy option for customers, the BlueStone team came up with the idea of an ATM which dispenses gold instead of cash. “Diamonds and platinum jewellery are more difficult to dispense by an ATM,” Arvind said.

It took months to devise a working model. The technology needed for the process demanded collaboration with vendors who work with banks too. The idea, which was formed in April, was to start operating the ATM before Akshaya Tritiya. It took five months and Rs 20 lakh to make it operational. However, no target revenue has been set, Arvind told YourStory.

Like a normal ATM, BlueStone’s gold ATM also has a security guard near it. Since it is placed in a public, guarded space, worries are minimal. Additionally, the machine will not dispense gold without cash or card. Most ATM machines either read debit/credit cards or the cash deposited. Both technologies are integrated into the gold ATM.

More offers on the way

Arvind Singhal_COO_BlueStone02
Arvind Singhal, COO, BlueStone

With Dhanteras coming up on Friday, October 28, BlueStone also has offers like 25 percent discount on diamond jewellery and no making charge, along with a free gold coin for purchases above Rs 20,000. In November, they are launching new collections including more than 60 designs in the rings section. Arvind said that the focus is on building their brand and bringing in more designs. Two weeks ago, BlueStone had also launched a ‘caratometer’ service in Bengaluru and New Delhi. The handheld device is used to measure the clarity of gold and can be used at home when the ordered product is delivered to the customer. This facility helps with credibility in case of product exchanges.

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