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ATMs Amidst Digitalization - ATM 2.0

The Digital Challenges for ATMS

The role of the ATM will inevitably change in the very near future. In 2018, the total number of ATMs had declined for the first time in over 50 years. This, however, does not spell certain doom as many have immediately started predicting. ATM service providers have stepped up to the challenges of the digital revolution that is sweeping the financial sector and this ongoing transformation has, fittingly, been dubbed ATM 2.0.

Cash is No Longer King

Not so long ago, having cash dispensing machines on almost any corner would have come in handy whether you were shopping for groceries, out on a date or have just arrived in another country on holiday. But cash is no longer the sovereign it once was. 

Contactless payments have been experiencing a rapid rise in many markets. For example, in Australia, Canada and the UK, "tap and go" has edged out cash when it comes to payments under $100.

While the number of ATMs may be down for the first time in half a century, there are clear signs ATMs are not going anywhere. 

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First and foremost, they are increasingly becoming number one means for retailers to make cash deposits, as banks continue reducing their costs by closing down branch offices.

ATMS as Branches

With banks closing and rethinking branches, a hybrid approach presents itself as a possible solution. Since branches are still the cornerstone of sales and customer advice, their importance is clear. ATMs are at the heart of a new solution, creating an environment where customer service is top priority, access to services is quick, and the ATM can immediately inform a staff member if assistance or intervention is needed.

The "ATM as branch" approach also has the benefit of providing banks with more customer information by utilizing customer ATM feedback scenarios and delivering new services to customers as soon as they're made available, like the bill payments functionality

The Re-Invention of ATM

So what is ATM 2.0 then and how does it aim to reaffirm the position of ATMs in the changing financial market? Despite the fact that the choice of this new moniker appears as an attempt to court the contactless, online crowd, the name ATM 2.0 does indeed point to an entire spectrum of new functionalities ATM could offer its customers.

First and foremost, ATM 2.0s will still be, at their core, ATMs: they will dispense and (in some cases) receive cash, as well as dispense cash previously deposited by engaging the ATM recycling functionality.

But it's the new functionalities that will greatly improve customer experience by enabling customers to withdraw cash by simply entering a one-time code generated from the bank’s mobile application, thus not using their physical cards for withdrawal. 

Customers who don't have mobile banking can look up their balance on the ATM and discover how much money they have available before making a withdrawal. And there is also the ability to connect an ATM 2.0 to your electronic accounts and withdraw funds from them as well. 

The interaction between ATM 2.0s and online systems may allow customers to perform certain transactions that the previous generation could not, from redeeming online gambling winnings to withdrawing funds from mobile payment services such as PayPal, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. 

ATM Videos Capabilities for Branding and More

These, however, are just the basics. ATM 2.0s are set to help with branding as well: their ability to run videos means they can not only explain transaction processes to those who aren't tech savvy but also display ads - meaning that if, for example, a store has an ATM 2.0, it can use it to push a new product or service and in this way provide the advertising solution without the need to additionally install a promotion device

But it doesn't have to stop there: let the customer capture a QR code or print out a receipt that will provide them with a real-time discount at the store's POS. And ATM 2.0s will also be a boon to loyalty programs, providing members with points for ATM which can then be converted to cash.

The possibilities of ATM 2.0 have just begun to be explored and there are certainly many exciting developments waiting for us in the near future.