The future of the ATM is in the cloud

By : Robin Angus

September 20, 2016 12:00 PM

“It’s no exaggeration to say we’re entering a new era for ATMs,” says Mike Lee, chief executive officer of the of ATM

Industry Association, in a preface to its report looking at how the cloud is vital to the future of banking’s original

self-service channel.


The report, “Cloud-Based ATMs – Future ATM Hardware and Software Architecture”, looked at how taking a more

flexible, modular approach to ATM architecture means it will be possible to reimagine what the ATM can do and

how it performs within an omni-channel environment. Lee believes the cloud can “empower a new generation of

ATM software and hardware”. He says: “Innovation in the ATM industry right now is the hottest it has been in over

a decade.”


For example, the cloud can lower the total cost of ownership of ATMs, integrate better with non-banking services

and, crucially, allow the ATM to co-exist peacefully with mobile.

This report was published barely a year after NCR launched Kalpana software, an enterprise software platform

that is driving ATM software and operations into the cloud. Kalpana can cut the running costs of an ATM network

by up to 40 percent. For a bank with just 100 ATMs, that could mean savings of up to $800,000 a year.

Traditionally, ATMs are like a PC and run on thick-client software. Compared to agile mobile and online systems,

this is increasingly proving pretty cumbersome and inflexible. Particularly as banks try to develop an omni-channel

experience for their customers and integrate multiple channels like mobile with the ATM, the old way of doing

things has been a barrier to success. Cloud solutions gel far more easily with a bank’s wider suite of transaction

processing systems.


Not only is a cloud solution like Kalpana much more flexible, it’s also more secure. Updates happen at the server

level, so there is no need to adapt each machine individually.

Cloud solutions are also more able to adapt to future technological developments in retail banking. With the cloud

we can expect the same kind of innovation in ATMs as we’ve seen with mobile.


Robin Angus