A cashless society isn’t imminent, which makes the role of modern interactive teller machines, or ITMs, an important tool to connect financial institutions to their customers.
These machines are critical for financial institutions to attract and retain customers. User experiences don’t just occur on websites, mobile apps, or at the bank branch. They span all channels and touchpoints. So, institutions must pay attention to the experiences created at the teller machine as well.
However trivial a simple withdrawal or deposit may seem, it can actually have a large influence on how customers perceive their financial institution. This starts by ensuring the instructions on the machine are clear and intuitive, and all actions are easy to perform.
Then there’s the question of what choices the customer has when interacting with the machine. Teller machines that offer customers a variety of ways to interact with their financial institutions will become an increasingly important differentiator for these FIs. Users will want the option to use not just a debit card, but also a smartphone and potentially even biometrics, to identify individuals by their unique physical characteristics.
While widely available, fingerprint scanning and facial recognition software are yet to go mainstream for banking. Nevertheless, financial institutions must make smartphone access to their teller machines an option, just to keep pace with consumer demand for faster, more secure options for using teller machines.
When customers do use a machine, it must have cash available. ITMs offer cash recycling, which makes it less costly for financial institutions to ensure a machine never runs out of cash. Recycling allows deposited cash to be reused for cash withdrawals, lengthening the replenishment cycle and reducing downtime.
From a strategic standpoint, cash recycling capabilities are critical for a financial institution to save money and serve customers. Cash recycling saves FIs on “cash in transit” management, and it means less cash must be taken out of circulation for the less productive purpose of being stored in a machine. It also saves labor costs because an ITM will automate some of the processes previously done by tellers back at the branch, like counting, recounting and reconciliation.