9th April 2021

How can banks best manage ATMs-comment from Mark Aldred, Banking Specialist at Auriga

Aldred comments:

"The pandemic has triggered a change in consumer behaviour and has elicited a domino effect on digital transformation due to their new-found appetite for smart and pro-digital services. Despite the increased use of digital payments, the demand for cash has not been eradicated. Plus, while there was a decrease in cash usage during the pandemic, there is now a global shift towards the reversal of this trend, hence the accelerated circulation of cash through ATMs with an increase in worldwide cash withdrawals by 2.1% between 2019 –2025, as RBR’s Global ATM Market and Forecasts research reveals).

Nevertheless, ATMs still continue to disappear, and although they are vulnerable to cyberattacks and require operational costs, their reduction will involve many people in communities feeling neglected. For this reason, the UK has launched Community Access to Cash pilot schemes in retaliation, which stand to provide cash to areas that are seemingly underbanked to help boost local economies, and place more payment options back into the hands of the people.

-Self-service to enhance the customer experience
ATMs are much more than just a machine in a wall, they are one of the most convenient tools to access quick cash, and financial institutions are responsible for making sure that they are available to customers. Moreover, self-service terminals will play an integral role in ensuring the customer journey is focalised, as the right technology can help offer basic banking and community services, including account management, paying bills, and loan applications. However, possessing the correct software and infrastructure is crucial to bringing this plan to fruition.

-Pooling and bank partnerships to help manage ATMs
The search for ways of improving how ATMs are managed is an activity frequently carried out by banks. An approach that can be adopted to help decrease the total cost of ownership for ATMs is the pooling and partnerships between banks. This will mutually benefit the parties involved by increasing the network and providing more commercialisation opportunities with regards to increased services provided through ATMs.

-Easier and cheaper channel integration models
By using a channel integration model, banks can leverage both the connection and the isolation of the external channel-independent entities to make them independent and seamlessly usable across all platforms. This model offers an easier, cheaper, and generally accepted interface that highlights business services. It additionally simplifies the confusion linked to ATM management, and more broadly, the automation of self-service branches. Also, by adopting a modular approach, banks can deploy new lean branch ideas that can automate transactional banking services. This can include the offering of 24/7 availability, and the use of video banking technology.

Overall, customers still need access to cash and are entitled to using the money they hold within their accounts. Therefore, financial organisations must aim to put policies into action that improve ATM security, ease the overall cost of ownership, and enhance the customer experience. FIs must also ensure their operating strategies prioritize efficient, nimble, highly scalable and continuously available service channels, both physical and digital."

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