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Branded ATMs build on the omnichannel banking experience

Branded ATMs are a great way to implement omnichannel banking.

Banking relies heavily on ATMs to give customers easy access to cash. The convenience of these machines makes it possible for people to get money when and where they need it most. However, there's more to ATMs than this function. They form the basis of modern personal banking's business model. The convenience factor plays a role in many consumers' decisions about which financial institutions they work with. Once they have experience working with the bank on that level, they can build up the relationship toward more lucrative products. They may want to consider taking out business loans or home mortgages, for example. By having a strong bond at the ATM level, there's a greater chance of retaining customers.

Omnichannel starts at the ATM

It's becoming more important for banks to create a greater experience with personal banking. With so many competitors out there and little in the way of differentiation, financial institutions basically look similar to one another in terms of product. That's why omnichannel is a crucial concept for many to grasp despite being relatively new, according to ATM Marketplace.

Banking has already taken on multichannel dimensions. People deposit checks through remote deposit capture on their smartphones, view and pay bills online, withdraw money at ATMs and talk to banking agents about high-level products such as investments and loans. Omnichannel brings all of these concepts together as a single branded experience in which the consumer feels a seamless integration between withdrawing $40 from the ATM and talking to a representative or teller about the benefits of loans. In other words, whatever action consumers perform, they have a consistent experience that ingrains the brand and relationship.

While omnichannel has been the key focal point for many industries, it hasn't taken shape in the banking industry. The lack of available entry vectors is partly to blame. One option they can take is expanding the role of the ATM. Already, it takes on many functions beyond the basic feature of withdrawing cash: adjusting balances, depositing cash and checks, and viewing and paying bills. It has essentially become a mini-branch. Banks can expand on these roles by adding other functions to the machines. One passive feature that will help attain an omnichannel level of presence is branding ATMs, especially at retailers and grocery stores. By establishing a brand outside of the branch, customers will feel like their experience expands to a holistic level that's part of their everyday activities. That will help them stay with a particular bank and build up an omnichannel experience.

October 15, 2015