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Is your institution's ATM network up to date?

ATMs are a key element of customer convenience.

ATMs are powerful tools that increase efficiency for both financial institutions and their customers. ATMs provide a variety of banking services regardless of time or location and can extend an institution's reach in a given area. However, ATMs are limited by the functions they offer, their performance and the ability of customers to access them. When a bank only offers the bare essentials in terms of automated services through these machines, they limit their ability to provide customers with convenient options and leave opportunities for positive engagement with customers on the table.

Trends indicate heavy reliance on ATMs for banking

According to a survey conducted by industry publication ATM Marketplace, ATMs are the go-to point for regular banking needs for a significant percentage of customers. Specifically, 43 percent of customers believe it's more important to have an ATM nearby than a bank branch. While 47 percent of bank patrons believe having a branch nearby is important, this nearly even split is a powerful indicator that automated teller machines play a major role in the lives of customers. Without a strong ATM presence in the areas they serve, financial institutions may discourage their patrons and drive them to rivals in the area.

The ATM Marketplace survey also looked at the concept of branch transformation and how it will drive the future of consumer-oriented banking for some time to come. Sophisticated ATMs are critical in the growth of these more modern branches, as they provide automated services that were once handled by tellers. No matter the specific approach a bank takes to developing new branches and retrofitting existing ones, ATMs provide a number of benefits that help both employees and customers have more positive experiences. Offering ATMs with similar capabilities outside of branches, as permitted by spacial and security concerns, can strengthen bonds with customers and extend the benefits these systems bring.

ATMs are an indispensable part of the modern banking ecosystem. With automated teller machines in place that offer functionality such as automated deposit, customers can do more on their own when they want to or when time is of the essence. Providing this kind of convenience to patrons on a consistent basis through the use of modern ATMs can certainly pay off for consumer financial institutions of all time.

February 16, 2016