In urban America, getting money out of the bank means walking a block to the ATM. In rural India, the nearest bank branch might be a day’s journey away. But now a company called Vortex Engineering is using solar power to bring convenient banking to out-of-the-way villages.

The key: The company’s ATMs are energy efficient. Vortex calls them the “world’s lowest power consuming ATMs,” and they use just 10 percent of the energy of other banking machines, according to Yale e360. It adds up to about the same amount of energy as a lightbulb. That low energy overheads means that solar panels can provide back-up power and keeping on running even in areas where electricity service is spotty. 

Within two years, the company plans to have more than 10,000 of these machines installed, bringing the bane of ATM fees to rural villages across South Asia. In this case, though, customers might actually be happy to pay them rather than schlep to a whole different city just to get some cash.

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