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ATMs are part of a bank's long-term growth strategy

ATMs are part of a bank's long-term growth strategy

Any bank that hopes to sustain long-term growth must feature ATMs with full functionality. While every branch will need a different machine based on the habits of its customers, it is essential that physical locations feature technology that encourages people to walk through the doors.

While it may seem contradictory, the rise in digital banking has added to the important role ATMs play in the rapidly changing banking landscape. Research from Bain spoke to the emergence of online banking, noting that customers conducted more than 50 percent of their banking interactions through digital channels in 18 of 22 countries surveyed. Considering the role of digital devices in modern baking, ATMs serve as valuable tools to extend a banks channels and create a multichannel experience.

ATMs justify the cost of operation

ATMs are vital to the success of any bank because they justify the cost of operating these brick-and-mortar branches. According to American Banker, the average U.S. bank requires at least 5,000 teller transactions per month to make the cost of remaining open feasible. American Banker also pointed out if the 20 banks with the most U.S. branches reduced their branch footprints and cost per branch by 30 percent, they could save more than $10 billion.

Investing in new technology may seem like the opposite of reducing costs, but the reality is that ATMs help branches earn more money and complete more teller transactions each month. To underscore this fact, American Banker cited the example of a group of 23 branches that redirected cash and check deposits and withdrawals to modern ATMs. As a result of this strategy, the branches saw a 10 percent reduction in staff capacity, a threefold increase in ATM use for deposits, greater use of digital channels, fewer customer complaints and improved employee engagement.

When customers can complete a wide variety of banking tasks through an ATM, tellers have more time to focus on sales and customer services. Moreover, with fewer people waiting in line to make deposits and withdrawals, consumers will be more willing to seek teller services in a branch. Finally, ATMs help create valuable foot traffic, which is part of a strong marketing strategy and can potentially help banks meet or exceed their teller transaction minimums each month.

March 17, 2016