AstroSystems – “A thoroughly pleasant business”     

In today’s fast-moving business world, continuity is becoming a scarce phenomenon. This is especially true in in the technology sector, where the relentless pursuit of growth is invariably characterised by regular restructures, mergers and acquisitions.   


An often ill-considered consequence of such change is the extra burden it can place on the customer; new contacts may have to be forged, new procedures adopted and entire product ranges rationalised. For the supermarket shopper, attempting in vain to track down a favourite brand that has been repackaged and renamed this may be irritating enough, but in the B2B context the situation can be far more disruptive, particularly when the product occupies a role that is integral to the customer’s business.

Astrosys International Ltd is based in Hong Kong and is a global manufacturer and supplier of cashhandling equipment to many sectors, including vending, car parking, launderettes and kiosks. The amusements and gaming industries represent a very significant part of Astrosys International’s business.

AstroSystems Ltd has responsibility for selling and supporting the Group’s own coin validators and bill acceptors, marketed under the Microcoin and GBA (Global Bill Acceptors) brands, through a network of sales and support facilities located Asia, Australia, Europe, the Far East and the USA.


AstroSystems Ltd, General Manager for EMEA, Debbie Malin, has built a successful career in the cash handling industry and is happy to reveal some of the reasons for the company’s continued success: “Essentially we keep things very simple, focusing on the quality of our products and on the relationships with our customers. Our products are developed in-house and manufactured in our own ISO9001 certified plants in China. This gives the business total control, plus the ability to directly feedback comments and suggestions from our customers, “explains Debbie.

Debbie is passionate about the level of service experienced by AstroSystems’ customers: “We’ve been around a very long time and offer a highly personalised service. Our Group has well over 2,000 employees but we’re flattered that many of our customers say we come across as if we are a local, home grown business.

Our structure and culture enable us to  oversee what’s happening and ensure  standards are being met, and in a  sector that’s extremely corporate, our  customers say they find this refreshing. 1

“The nature of coin and bill handling  is such that many clients like to have a  back-up option so even those with  established relationships with other  suppliers will still come to us because  of our products’ reliability, competitive  pricing and the level of support we  offer. Our total control of the product  from design, through to manufacturing  and service support, places us well to  deal with any integration issues the  customer may have,” reveals Debbie.

The focus on core product is  serving AstroSystems’ customers well.  In the GBA ST2 stackerless note  validator, the company has delivered a  cost-effective and reliable solution.  Interestingly, the ST2 is the only  compact device of its type to  incorporate a built-in barcode reader,  an opportunity not lost on a number  of operators making the move to  TITO.

Microcoin’s QL coin acceptor may  be specifically configured as a single  coin or multi-coin acceptor, delivering  the speed and security demanded by  today’s gaming industry.

The Microcoin SP coin acceptor has  been designed to incorporate features,  such as an anti-strimming gate and  built in price accumulator, essential for  today’s amusements operator.

The AstroSystems formula of  uncompromising product and service      excellence has earned the company   many loyal followers in the   amusements and gaming world.   Speaking about the AstroSystems, Ian   Eason, Company Director of Instance   Automatics had this to say: “We have   tested the Microcoin SP & QL over   the last 2 years. This year we changed   all our vending and crane machines to   use the SP, and our photo booth   developments to the QL. This is due to   its easy price of play change on the SP.

“Both coin mechs have a brilliant   accept rate, and are easy to update to   any new coinage or any foreign coin   requirements. AstroSystems are a   great company for us to be associated   with; looking forward to a long and   successful business relationship.”

Trevor Hinton, General Manager,   Radical Shock commented, “We have   been a distributor for AstroSystems   since 2000. The service and personal   attention they provide is excellent.   Where timing and quality is a must,   they have always met our expectations   and information is communicated in a   professional and timely manner,”   revealed Trevor.

Debbie’s perspective on customer   service is that it needs to be part of   the business’ DNA, and should go way   beyond effective product support.   “We have a fantastic team and a   culture of openness where nothing is   allowed to stand in the way of our   customer relationships. We’ve been   looking after many of our clients for a   very long time and we’re constantly   aware of the level of trust they have   placed in us,” she assured.

Currency handling is a highly   dynamic field and part of the trust   placed by customers is that   AstroSystems will be prepared for the   latest changes and innovations   adopted by the producers of   banknotes and coins. Much of the   work that AstroSystems carries out in   this respect may not be readily visible   but is none the less crucial. Debbie   meets regularly with the National   Central Banks, and the global Mint   community, and is a member of The   European Vending Association’s Coin   Group, established as a link between   the industry and the authorities in   charge of designing, issuing and   controlling coins.

To use UK as an example of the   AstroSytems’ preparedness, UK   customers can relax in the knowledge   that software for the new £5 polymer   banknote is in place, and that   configuration updates are being   prepared and will be ready in a timely   manner for the new £1 coin.

AstroSystems also stays in close   contact with equipment   manufacturers. Debbie explains: “Every   market has slightly differing   requirements, for example, changes to   face plates and the way in which our   products are mounted within the   machine. Through working with   manufacturers we can iron-out   potential problems at the design   stage,” she revealed.

With in-house product design and   manufacturing, a global reach and local   service support, plus Debbie’s   insistence that dealing with   AstroSystems is always a thoroughly   pleasant experience, it’s not surprising   that AstroSystems is the currency   handling partner of choice for many of   the world’s leading gaming and  amusements operators.

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