Given what the world has experienced over the last 18 months, and the huge sway in the payments industry to a more digital and e-wallet mentality… is there a future for the ATM? Can the ATM developers and manufacturers compliment the new requirements of the payments landscape?
Tough questions! ATMs have been developing in-line with new payment technology since the invention in 1967. Today, we see ATM technology driving the branch free bank experience with video cashiers, cash withdrawals without card and multiple service availability. And that’s all from something with the floorspace of a box of crisps! So, it raises the question…
Can the ATM evolve to meet the demand for new payment tech?
It’s about changing the mindset of the everyday user. If we asked 100 people on the street about the services ATMs offered, cash withdrawals would be the first thing to come to mind. But the ATM is capable of so much more.
An ATM is not just about cash withdrawals, bank enquiries, or PIN changes. They can support multiple services now. With the rise of international, real time digital payments, they have in some instances adapted to the needs and new payment requirements of the public.
Will the design of the ATM change for the better?
But first we need to address the elephant in the room… the overall design of the ATM. Let’s face it, the ATM was never going to win any beauty prizes but is this about to change? With major leading ATM manufacturers such as Diebold Nixdorf and NCR relooking at the ATM design, are we about to see a change in the way ATMs look forever?
Some of the proposed designs will see a complete step away from the metal box, leaning more towards smartphone functionality and contemporary designs that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art gallery. Whilst some of the ‘future’ designs are eyebrow raising, there is a familiarity to the metal box. So, let’s hope we manage to retain some of the ATM’s old charm as we leap forward. A couple of concept design ideas can be found here. We’d love to hear your favourite!
What new functionality could we see?
Whilst the look of the ATM might be under review, it must also keep pace with the change in payment technology that has, in the last 2 years, take huge steps forward. So, has the ATM kept up with the pace? In some instances, yes! Across Europe the ATM has had to become more functional, especially with the reduction of bank branches and decreasing ATM estates. Independent ATM providers are stepping in to plug that gap. The ATM must now function, not only as a cash dispenser, but also offer deposit capability, cheque acceptance, bill payments, ticket dispensing, e-card provision and so the list goes on…
Cash on the dash, or contactless cash withdrawals are also becoming more popular. But equally the ability to withdraw cash without a card, or using your phone is becoming more prevalent. ATMs are now capable of reading barcodes, QR codes and numerical codes to initiate cash withdrawals. This allows cash to be available in emergencies, especially if card payments are unavailable at the time. So, these newer ATM developments are encouraging access to cash via multiple means. But is it sustainable when the requirement for cash has been superseded by digital payment options? We’d say… absolutely!
So is there a future for the ATM?
Not everyone will be a cash user, but there is a future for the ATM as it will become a multifunctional machine that will complement the payment technologies and meet the needs of the new digital payments age. It will change from a design standpoint, but what that looks like is yet to be decided. Don’t be surprised to see a more app driven approach to the ATM, that allows it to function as a smart device, complimenting all the requirements needed by the banks and their customers…
We are constantly adapting our services to offer consumers more and more, but sometimes machines can let us down… Here are three blogs we have written to help you if you encounter an issue at the ATM.