By : Marsha Hanus
November 14, 2017 08:00 AM
Fifty years on from its introduction, the ATM continues to play a vital role in how financial institutions engage with their customers. For many banks, it provides a highly visible, accessible and user-friendly way to deliver services. Innovation in the channel means the range of services that can be delivered via the ATM is expanding all the time.
In the UK, there are currently more than 70,000 ATMs in operation, while globally the figure is over three million, according to RBR's ‘Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2021’ report.
Given the ongoing importance of this channel, businesses should always be looking for ways to maximize efficiency and embrace innovation in their ATM estate. This is where NCR's ATM as a Service program could deliver some big advantages.
How ATM as a Service works
ATM as a Service is a managed-service option that gives your business the option to benefit from a complete ATM solution - encompassing hardware, software, maintenance and managed services - for a single monthly operational cost.
Various provisions are included within the program, including hardware purchasing options, installation, maintenance, operational support services, software and security management related to the channel and cash management.
By paying an ongoing monthly cost instead of one large initial capital outlay, your business can conserve working capital and deliver budget consistency, while receiving the technological and operational advantages that come with outsourced services.
This service-based strategy is something that could become increasingly common among financial institutions in the coming years. According to IT research and advisory firm Gartner, the single-source managed support contract is "gaining momentum as the preferred method of contracting and doing business with support providers".
How it could benefit your business
One of the key reasons to consider taking this service-based approach to your ATM fleet is the financial benefit.
Consider the example of a company that wants to refresh its ATM network, but doesn't have the capital required to fund the project outright and is reluctant to take on debt. Opting for a managed-service contract with regular recurring payments - which could be cheaper than debt financing - would give this business access to new ATMs, and the latest software and support services all for a consistent monthly cost.
This business would also have the opportunity to shift its expenses profile away from capital expenditure and towards operational expenditure, giving it more freedom to focus on core business objectives and concerns.
From a technological perspective, ATM as a Service helps your company to keep pace with the latest innovations in the self-service channel. It gives you the option to regularly update and refresh your technology, ensuring that the business and its customers see the benefit of exciting developments such as biometric authentication or contactless withdrawal.
Furthermore, the program is entirely flexible, enabling your institution to select which tasks or assets it wants to outsource. You will also have the ability to scale your estate in response to industry trends, customer demand or regulatory requirements. This sort of adaptability can be invaluable when it comes to meeting challenges such as the recent EMV fraud liability shift in the US.
With so many advantages to gain - and no sign of the ATM diminishing in importance for the retail banking industry anytime soon - NCR ATM as a Service could be the ideal option for banks that want to achieve maximum financial efficiency and ongoing adaptability across their self-service network.