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ATMs: From cash machines to self-service experiences

ATMs: From cash machines to self-service experiences

ATMs are an integral piece of technology in our society that fulfill a much larger purpose than typical cash dispensing. As financial institutions and consumer needs continue to evolve, these machines will maintain their relevance. In fact, ATM Marketplace shared research from RBR's "Global ATMs and Market Forecasts of 2020" report, which revealed the number of functional ATMs worldwide reached 3 million in 2014, and will likely increase by more than 4 million by the the close of 2020.

In the past, banks, credit unions and consumers alike treated ATMs as simple cash machines. People could use this technology to withdrawal money from their accounts, either in a brick-and-mortar bank or other retail shop. However, customer relationships with ATMs have changed drastically in recent years.

Much of this evolution can be credited to the rise of digital banking. For instance, a report conducted by KPMG forecasted the growth of mobile banking users will increase drastically over the next five to 10 years. Today, consumers rely on their mobile devices and online banking services to make financial management, budgeting, paying bills, depositing checks and withdrawing money much easier. In response to this trend, financial institutions are investing in more robust ATMs that meet a variety of needs beyond simple cash dispensing.

Communicating the benefits of ATMs

As ATMs slowly become a competitive differentiator for consumers deciding who to bank with, financial institutions must communicate the features of their particular technology. ATM Marketplace pointed out in the past, banks and credit unions leveraged this technology to decrease congestion in the teller line and create efficiencies for workers and staff. Today, customers rely on this technology to go about their daily lives and engage in self-service experience with regard to how they handle their money.

However, ATM Marketplace also shared data from Compass Plus that found roughly 96 percent of study participants had withdrawn cash from an ATM in the past month, but only 15 percent leveraged additional services and tools.

Considering the important role ATMs play in our society, it only makes sense financial institutions would prioritize communicating their technological advancement with consumers. Through various mediums including social media, mainstream media and advertising, bankers should touch on the benefit of using a multipurpose and visiting physical locations. By doing so, they help ensure their technology turns into a worthwhile investment and also stay ahead of the competitive curve.

March 18, 2016