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ATMs help banks and credit unions maintain service levels

ATMs help banks and credit unions maintain service levels

There are a number of ways that service can fall short at financial institutions, including community banks and credit unions, when ATM fleets aren't managed well.

A recent article for BankNews emphasized the fact that community banks set themselves apart from the competition through exceptional service levels that focus on individual customers. Part of value-added service is providing customers with access to banking technology on a 24/7 basis. Even when a branch has limited business hours - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for instance - there will be customers expecting to have access to self-service equipment like ATMs.

A Cummins Allison study found that customers place a high priority on self-service technology. In fact, 91 percent of customers say branches are very or extremely important, and 83 percent say the same about ATMs. As a result, it's especially important that community banks provide their customers with the most up-to-date equipment and ensure it's functioning properly. There may be gaps in performance considering 58 percent of banks and credit unions have ATMs that are five years old or more.

As BankNews indicated, customers don't have the time or patience to put up with out-of-order signs on ATMs in lobbies or in remote locations. If a financial institution repeatedly has to deal with service problems relating to its equipment, there are a couple of questions the business must ask itself:

  • How much will continuous maintenance and upgrades cost with outdated technology?
  • What impact are service interruptions having on customer service?

When a financial institution finds the answers, it will be in a better position to judge what action is necessary. A community bank may choose to replace its entire fleet of ATMs or upgrade its operating system. Whatever the decision, selecting the right vendor is of paramount importance.

October 23, 2014