By : Colin Gordon
February 19, 2016 08:30 AM
Winter - the time of year when the forecast seems to continually predict severe cold weather, rain and snow. In instances of extreme weather this can mean a real risk that many bank branches could close temporarily and even getting to an ATM becomes a potential challenge for some. So, what does this mean for the omni-channel experience that consumers demand across all touch points from financial institutions? Well, ensuring cash is available to consumers at the right time and the right location is not a new strategy but it is fair to say that the ATM becomes an even more vital banking channel for consumers at times of severe weather along with consumers increasingly demanding of financial institutions a consistent user experience.
The demand and availability for cash in severe weather is something that can be best emphasized by the fact that there are now NCR SelfServ ATMs in extreme environments such as the Antarctic. Clearly consumers, no matter where they are around the globe, continually demand access to cash wherever and whenever they need it. An example of a solution that meets consumer’s demands for consistent omni-channel experience, in any environment at the ATM is the NCR SelfServ 28 (a fully weatherized ATM proven to operate in extreme temperatures as low as -35c). The NCR SelfServ 28 cash dispense ATM is actually the industry’s only fully weatherized, freestanding inside and outside ATM meaning the omni-channel experience can be provided to consumers whatever the location and whatever the weather.
As financial institutions look to evolve the range of technology used to deliver banking services, the NCR range of cash dispensers helps in driving self-service reinvention at the very core of financial institutions with aims to transform their networks, be it through self, full and/or assisted service at the ATM aligned to a variety of physical and digital platforms.
Why is this important? It means there are now ATM solutions that can go wherever a bank’s customers require self-service, without the need to build a structure to house the ATM whilst still delivering that consistent experience consumers demand. This hardware driven software enabled approach becomes similar to that of a tablet or smartphone where the app, mobile or online banking becomes much more aligned to that of the user interface on the ATM.
In the financial industry today we continually hear about how omni-channel is all about the consumer experience. By definition, omni-channel is about “delivering a consistent experience across all channels for both the multi- and cross-channel user by using clear design, standardized messaging and user-friendly interfaces, to provide the consumer with a seamless consistent user experience across all touch points.” (ATMMarketplace June 2015)
In the financial services industry today, mobile and internet banking are intrinsically linked and show the most development toward an omni-channel strategy. It is said that there is a long way to go before the customer journey is truly informed and seamless but having ATMs in whatever locations consumers demand is one small step in helping deliver convenient access to cash to meet omni-channel objectives.