Getting the most out of the ATM as a marketing channel - Part 1

By : Alastair Hogben

November 21, 2017 01:00 PM

For many financial institutions (FIs) across the globe, the ATM is a key channel not only to deliver services, but to engage with consumers.


According to Retail Banking Research, ATMs dispensed $13.7 trillion worldwide in 2016, with over 106 billion withdrawals. That's more than 12 million withdrawals every hour, or 3,380 cash withdrawals per second.


Furthermore, the number of cash and check deposits taking place at ATMs has reached 26.8 billion a year.


These huge figures illustrate just how big an opportunity the ATM channel provides for FIs to make meaningful, productive contact with existing and prospective customers. This is a subject explored in-depth in this NCR-sponsored whitepaper from ATM Marketplace.


Harnessing potential through personalization
One of the most powerful advantages of the ATM as a marketing platform is that it enables the FI to make direct contact with consumers at a time when they are engaged with their financial affairs.


ATMs are highly visible, easily accessible and often situated in high-footfall areas - characteristics that make them ideal for promoting brand awareness and distributing a company's marketing communications to the widest possible audience.


Dedicated solutions such as NCR's CxMarketing software can prove crucial when it comes to taking full advantage of this promotional potential.


Consider personalization, which is becoming increasingly important in marketing. The approach taken by mold-breaking brands like Amazon and Spotify has led to a shift in consumer expectations. People now want tailored, relevant services, so generic, mass-delivered marketing messages are no longer sufficient.


Having the right ATM marketing software in place makes it possible for your business to personalize the self-service experience. By accessing existing CRM systems, ATMs can form a more meaningful engagement with users by greeting them by name, wishing them a happy birthday or remembering their preferred transaction amount.


Personalization can also prove extremely important when it comes to sales and revenue generation. Recommending an interest-free credit card to a customer who regularly uses their overdraft, for example, shows a level of understanding and appreciation of the individual's needs.


Conversely, using the ATM to showcase a product the customer has already rejected on another channel can have a damaging impact on brand perception, so it's important for marketing to be unified and consistent across channels.


Part of a wider experience
Getting ATM marketing right is one of the goals FIs should be focusing on as part of a wider drive towards the ultimate objective: delivering the best possible customer experience.


The frequency with which it is used demonstrates how important a role the ATM plays in the retail banking customer experience - not only as a platform for service delivery and transaction management, but as an interface between provider and consumer.


Gartner has predicted that, by 2020, "customers armed with more technologies than you can imagine will be demanding more from your organization's customer experience".


Gene Alvarez, managing vice-president of the research firm, said: "Customers will not tolerate companies that have amnesia when it comes to remembering them and their preferences for recognition. This makes it imperative for companies to recognize their customers and to serve them pertinent content that demonstrates the proper recognition and treatment."


In the financial services industry, these principles could be more important today than ever before, in light of rising competition and the trend towards a more open, dynamic marketplace.


FIs that get their ATM marketing strategy right will see the benefits in terms of customer experience and, consequently, brand loyalty, which could be the key to staying ahead of the competition.

Alastair Hogben

Senior Marketing Manager, FS Software

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Alastair Hogben is a Senior Software Marketing Manager, responsible for the marketing of NCR's Financial Services enterprise software portfolio with a specific focus on CxBanking and enterprise-enabled applications.