The ATM at 50: Are British banks missing a FinTech trick?

As the ATM turns 50, some people may think the original piece of FinTech has lost its edge, but they’re wrong. British banks who invest into their ATMs can tap into huge benefits, while those who don’t risk missing out on improved customer relationships and improved opportunities.

Multiple opportunities

Britons love their cash machines, as recent research sponsored by ATM Marketplace demonstrated. 43% of UK respondents said they use at ATM on a weekly basis.

But ATMs can do much more than just churn out notes, and banks could turn this demand into more opportunities. When we asked about the types of service that UK consumers would like to see, they responded that bill payments (34%), currency exchange (22%), loan applications (5%) and even ticket sales would be welcomed at cash points.

>See also: FinTech innovation under threat from skills shortage

This demand to be able to do more on one device is nothing new for UK consumers. Mobile phones used to just be a tool for making phone calls, but now they’re used for everything from live video streams to making payments.

ATMs are in a strong position to adapt – vendor independent software empowered by the ultimate Web technologies on board means that even the oldest of ATMs can be given a new, revitalised role, but banks need to change their way of thinking. For many consumers, the ATM is one of the main ways they interact with their bank – which means banks need to make as good an impression as possible.

Personalisation can take your customer’s experience to a new level. Smart ATMs could pre-empt what a customer wants to do at the machine – for example pre-set fast withdrawal for the customer who always takes out a set amount of cash for weekend expenses or allowing customers to set up their dashboard to meet accessibility needs.

With the large sums of money that banks invest into their marketing activities and into their digital transformation they need to make sure this is replicated across all channels or they will start to lose out in the future.

Digital is strongly reshaping customer experience: implementing digital transformation in banking is synonymous with implementing a true omnichannel banking strategy/architecture with the ATM channel fully integrated with the other banking touch points.

>See also: Is FinTech really a game changer?

The future of the bank branch

Banks are having to take hard decisions about their branch networks, but the bank branch is by no means dead. Banks are reinventing their branches with a focus on a smaller hybrid branch of self-service machines and staff.

The success of this lies in how well staff can be more than highly qualified receptionists and can access in-branch systems to fully engage with branch visitors. A lot of this intelligence comes from how the branch can optimise its use of cloud based software to deliver advanced, personalised services in-branch through ATMs.

Self-service machines, like ATMs, will allow banks for create high-tech branches that give customers the best service possible, freeing up staff to focus on delivering exceptional service and advice. Cloud technology allows information to be shared over devices in branch – for example staff could use a tablet to check the status of machines in branch and when a customer accesses a device receive an update about the assistance they might need.

Don’t let your tech hold you back

ATMs provide huge opportunities for banks to increase revenue and improve service, whether that’s directly by enabling loans, through taking commission from ticket sales or indirectly through greater brand loyalty.

>See also: Looking into the FinTech crystal ball for 2017

However, only banks which have the right technology in place will be able to seize these opportunities. The challenge for banks is to achieve these steps despite the constraints of sometimes outmoded legacy technologies.

The right software can rejuvenate existing ATMs and the future is cloud based. Auriga began in the Age of the Internet, challenging the internet banking market to be better than ever before, and the ATM can benefit from the same cloud based approach – it reduces the total cost of ownership, improves time to market and eases the development of new services.

A mind-set change is needed. The ATM is on the brink of some very exciting developments – with technology like artificial intelligence, data analytics and chatbots poised to bring an even better experience to the ATM – but without the right infrastructure in place banks could risk missing out.


Sourced by Mark Aldred, Head of International Sales, Auriga


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...