How to bring your ATM estate into the digital banking Age

Published January 28, 2021

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

Mark Twain’s adage definitely resonates when it comes to embarking on a project to overhaul your ATM network—taking it beyond a siloed cash and transactional system to a powerful digital and physical endpoint for your customers.

So, the big question we’re commonly asked by those looking to evolve to enterprise software is how do I get started?

The key is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you solving for?
  • What are your pain points?
  • If you could wake up to the ideal solution, what would it look like?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions; every financial institution will have different needs, challenges, goals and outcomes.

When working with FIs we use a combination of methodologies; agile, lean six-sigma, design thinking, your own methods—whatever the approach, the goal is the same: to help you identify your unique goals and the priority of each objective.

These goals and objectives can then be used to develop your profile, to outline what is important for your business.

What is your profile?

UI/IX screens

For some, moving to an enterprise technology stack can be as simple as a screen UI refresh. This may sound fundamental (indeed, it’s probably the simplest of the steps to enterprise), but for some it can be a game changer. If your screens have been designed and developed for FDKs and your estate has now moved to touchscreen, not optimizing that experience for your customers can be confusing (why do you have choices for FDKs that are no longer there?) and look dated, lacking the eye-catching, innovative UX consumers now expect from other channels and businesses they transact with.

For the consumer, this is about more than just screens. It’s also about an enterprise server providing a centralized screens repository with publishing capability. This moves FIs away from traditional software distribution—better suited to large software updates of applications—to something agile, centralized and simple to use, which is ideally suited to the publishing of screens and flow updates.

It’s about pull (not push) distribution for your consumer-facing endpoints. And this is something your mobile channel is already doing—and fits with consumer expectations for consistency across all endpoints.

With this capability, you can now start to segment your ATM experiences by customer group, run campaigns, easily trial and deploy new screens and new services. Special holidays, themes, student screens, charity campaigns and the like can all be done with a simple, centralized flick of the proverbial switch.

This simple use of enterprise enables financial institutions to quickly bring their ATM estate into the digital age. Screens are now more dynamic and modernized with the smartphone look and feel consumers are accustomed to. And, better than that, it’s agile. You can do more, faster, and with greater impact for your customer.

Digital integration and shared services

For the majority of financial institutions, moving to enterprise is all about adding new transaction sets to the ATM. This includes bill payment, transacting on non-card accounts, consuming digital transactions and services that have previously only been available at the branch or mobile channels if no valuable media was involved.

Digital integration and shared services mean migrating transactions away from branch counters and a reliance on staff; this is about digital adoption. For many FIs, this is their biggest challenge. And it’s not because of consumer unwillingness to change; it’s the systems holding them back—they can’t make transactions available for self-service if only the branch system is able process them!

Some of our early adopters of enterprise banking solutions are able to offer more than 70 transactions on the ATM. But perhaps most important, only four or five are now being processed through the switch; the rest are being offered and processed via core or digital systems.

Again, this gives FIs the agility to do more, faster, while removing reliance on the switch, which opens the ATM up to facilitate an even greater number of transactions.

So that addresses the challenges of the institution...but what about the consumer?

Digital in isolation will only get you so far. Let’s look at bill pay. Digital is fine if the whole transaction is digital, but what about when the consumer wants to pay with cash? Only ATM self-service can straddle this divide, enabling both the consumer making the physical payment with cash, as well as the digital processing of the transaction. Being able to use the ATM to fulfil this multimedia type of transaction is a win-win for all. It takes away the need for a staffed branch counter but also unlocks the option for consumers to choose when, where and how they want to transact.

What about those consumers who aren’t at ease with mobile or online channels? They may not have the luxury of the technology required to access digital banking, or perhaps are simply more at ease with the ATM format due to access, security or familiarity. For instance, for a growing elderly consumer group who grew up with ATMs but aren’t conversant with smartphones or tablets, the ATM maybe their only ‘digital channel.’

Finally, another important priority for your profile is focused on bringing efficiencies to the ATM channel and across the entire banking ecosystem. With the infrastructure in place for digital ATM transaction processing, these services can now be shared with other digital channels such as branch, mobile and online, with only the cash element being handled separately. This enables the bank to create a digital service once and have it consumed across multiple channels including the ATM.

Discover why Scott Credit Union chose NCR’s ATM as a Service to refresh 30+ ATMs that NCR will own and run which includes a new ATM user interface and supports cardless and contactless transactions. 

Hampered by a legacy switch

In many FI models, the switch is the linchpin—and bottleneck—for all transactions at the ATM. So, for some, the place to start their enterprise journey may be defined by their relationship with their switch. How rich in functionality is it? Or is it a legacy system offering basic transactions and features? What does it cost to update? Do you even own it? Does every change request cost half a million dollars and take six months?

This may be your starting point when looking to migrate more to the core and take advantage of a modern, enterprise-architected terminal handler designed to enable digital transactions on your ATM—removing reliance on the switch.

We believe this is significant in enabling a futureproof solution. And that’s why enterprise ATM software comes already pre-configured with a modern enterprise terminal handler for a simple deployment into any existing network. 

Revolution, not evolution?

Many embark on their enterprise journey with small steps. These can be useful for getting started and seeing faster short-term outcomes by breaking up large tasks. But this is a slower, clunkier way to achieve your goal. Having looked at your pain points, your challenges and your vision of outcomes, you may decide you want it al—and that only addressing part of the solution is not going to cut it, that a true revolution is what you need.

Enabling that revolution takes a powerful combination of UX/UI centralized screen capability and the enhanced functionality of digital integration and shared services. This frees you from the constraints of the switch and leverages your core processing to de-silo the ATM and strengthen connectivity between channels.

No matter your objectives or goals—and even if you decide to go with a bite-sized project to get started—there's value in taking some time to capture the bigger picture and your end goal so everyone involved can see the final vision of your ATM estate joining the digital banking age.

The key is to just get started and to make it simple with an ATM enterprise software partner who can bring about your revolution. 

Free your ATMs from the tyranny of the switch.

Offer more transactions and targeted experiences with added control, agility and efficiency.

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