Do you need a new approach to ATM user experience?

By : Colin Gordon

April 25, 2017 12:00 PM


The ATM is one of the most dependable and familiar ways for customers to interact with their bank.  The first ATM was installed way back in 1967 and now after 50 years, consumers are very comfortable using the traditional ATM and continue to rely on it for quick, convenient and easy access to cash.


Consumer convenience doesn't mean that this vital self-service channel can't or shouldn't change. We've recently seen an example in the UK's fast-growing 'challenger bank' market of how new providers are changing their approach to customer experience in everyday banking, and we can expect further innovation in 2017.


Innovating for the long term
Investing in the modernization of your ATM network is vital if you want to drive ongoing improvement in customer experience. It will strengthen brand loyalty and deliver additional benefits for your business: new cost efficiencies and revenue opportunities, for example.


One important factor to consider is the user interface. Most consumers are now accustomed to touchscreen technology on most of the devices they use, so why should the ATM be any different? Many machines offer a touchscreen interface, as well as other aesthetic elements to complement the security standards and reliability you would expect in a modern ATM.


This channel can also facilitate approaches to money management that consumers might not have even considered before, such as video banking at the ATM. Modern-day solutions let consumers strike a balance between self-service and the traditional branch experience, with remote tellers on hand to guide people through more complex transactions. For your business, the advantages include more sales opportunities and greater efficiency thanks to reduced demand at the counter.


Atom says relax
Atom Bank, the first purely digital lender to gain a license in the UK, recently extended its philosophy of giving customers "the best banking experience possible" to the ATM channel. The challenger bank unveiled what it called "the world's most relaxing ATM" at a one-day event in central London.


The pop-up machine was located in an all-white room with soft lighting and feather fans, plus a live soundtrack of classical music provided by the string section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


Regardless of how seriously you take this marketing stunt, it's indicative of how new players in retail banking are looking for ways to change how consumers engage with their finances.


Other devices and interactions
The way that consumers use the ATM is changing, too.  Already we have seen consumers in Australia using tap and pin contactless functionality to authenticate themselves at the ATM.  This has benefits from a consumer experience perspective in that transaction times reduced by up to 50%.   From a card security perspective, using a contactless card at the ATM eliminates the risk of card skimming. As we near 2020, mobile cash withdrawal at the ATM will become more common, where the consumer pre-stages their cash withdrawal prior to getting to the ATM.  This offers greater convenience and also more of a convergence of emerging digital and traditional physical channels.


By focusing on the user experience and investing in different solutions, financial institutions can maximize the potential of the ATM network and show customers that even a device heading into its sixth decade can continue to evolve and surprise.

Colin Gordon

Financial Services SelfServ, Marketing Manager

Other articles by this author

Colin Gordon is a Global ATM Marketing Manager based at NCR’s R&D Center in Dundee, Scotland. Colin is responsible for the marketing of NCR’s financial hardware portfolio with a specific focus on activities such as demand generation, sales enablement, market analysis and customer engagements for the ATM business.