By : Colin Gordon
January 16, 2018 08:00 AM
The ATM industry enjoyed an exciting year in 2017, with many changes, innovations and product launches. The ATM industry also celebrated 50 years since the very first ATM was introduced at a Barclays branch in Enfield, north London.
Perhaps more significantly, the channel continued to play a vital role in the retail banking industry throughout the year as part of wider digital transformation initiatives. The ongoing development of new technologies and experiences showed just how important the ATM continues to be for banks and their customers.
So as we look ahead to 2018, how can we expect the channel to perform and to continue evolving during the next 12 months?
We have recently witnessed some exciting innovation and modernization in the ATM channel, with highlights including the growth of contactless accessibility and mobile pre-staging to maximize convenience for users. The ability of the ATM to offer “branch in a box” functionality and deliver more than 90% of branch based technology through an automated channel is also expect to gain further momentum.
For financial institutions and ATM deployers, embracing modernization could prove more important than ever in 2018. The financial services industry is moving forward at a quicker pace than ever before, and consumers will expect the evolution of the ATM channel to match trends seen in other industries such as travel, retail or hospitality.
Continuing to support payments choice
Despite talk of the possibility of a cashless society, the focus for financial institutions should be on enabling maximum payments choice for their customers.
Various studies and reports have shown that cash remains extremely popular among consumers and has a key role to play in the global financial ecosystem. Banks should prioritize optimum performance and availability in the ATM channel to ensure that those people who still rely on physical currency are able to access it whenever and wherever they choose.
Utilizing data and analytics to deliver insights
Given how frequently these machines are used - and for how many tasks and transactions - the ATM can be an extremely valuable source of customer data.
In 2018, we can expect to see an increase in financial institutions deploying analytics tools and technologies to collect and process this information. Banks that get it right will derive insights that could prove particularly useful for targeted marketing.
Growth in deposit and recycling
The RBR Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2022 report showed that an increasing number of FIs across the globe are giving their customers the opportunity to make automated deposits at ATMs. Cash recycling is also on the rise, opening up the dual benefits of maximum availability for consumers and reduced cash management costs for banks.
Given the clear and tangible advantages to be gained from combined deposit and recycling machines, the industry can expect to see further growth in their use throughout the coming year.
Entirely new experiences
Is it possible that we could see ATMs breaking entirely new ground in 2018? We have seen the Internet of Things and wearable technology begin to play a more prominent role in payments, so could ongoing expansion in these fields bring them into contact with the ATM channel?
We have also seen the recent arrival of Bitcoin-enabled ATMs in markets such as the UAE. It will be interesting to see how this particular market performs in 2018.
Regardless of what the most influential and noteworthy sub-trends turn out to be, it's beyond any doubt that the ATM will maintain its place at the heart of the retail banking industry over the coming year.