Why ATMs Are a Successful Piece of 'Social Tech' Not Heading for Retirement Anytime Soon
The ATM turned 50 last week (on June 27, to be exact) and despite the spectacular growth of alternative payment methods and predictions that we are heading toward a cashless society, birthday celebrations around the world were upbeat. Most industry commentators seem to agree that the ATM is alive and kicking. As ACI’s Lu Zurawski, EMEA consumer payments lead, says in an interview with Forbes: “The ATM is a successful piece of social technology and won’t be heading for retirement any time soon.”
Consumers worldwide want more innovative services from ATMs
And because ACI has played such a key role in the history of the ATM and today runs some of the largest ATM estates in the world, we thought it would be a good idea to ask our own global employees the role that ATMs play in their lives. It seems that topic struck a nerve with many, with more than 1,000 participants.
So, what did ACIers say? To begin with and this probably does not come as a surprise, more than two-thirds (69 percent) use ATMs less than they used to, citing the availability of alternative payment methods as the main reason. However, most ACIers still use ATMs regularly; 48 percent said they visit an ATM once or twice a month, and 26 percent said they visit an ATM about 3 to 4 times a month. The amount of cash withdrawn at each visit seems quite considerable; 25 percent of respondents said they usually take out 140 USD! Trips to the ‘cash machine’ might not be that frequent anymore, but the ‘peaceful coexistence’ between different methods of payments seems to be the order of the day with cash remaining part of the mix!
The list of services ACIers would like to see from the ‘ATMs of the future’ is long, especially in Asia where the majority (52 percent) want more services. The ability to make international money transfers, issue new debit or credit cards, collect loyalty points or make contactless withdrawals were some of the services most frequently mentioned. Others said they wanted the ability to book film or sports events tickets via an ATM, get Apple Pay support, buy long-distance bus tickets (in Latin America) or converting bitcoins into cash – the wish list for what we want our ATMs to be able to do seems to be open ended!
Financial institutions must continue to invest in ATM technology, even if cash usage declines
Evolving, adding new services and adapting to a new payments ‘world order’ is where the ‘new ATM’ will be heading, argues Andy McDonald, ACI’s Head of Merchants Payments EMEA. In an interview with Global Banking and Finance Review, he said: “I believe that the trend toward banks closing regional branches will put a greater emphasis on the role and functions of the ATM, and they really will become a ‘bank in a box.’ As a result, financial institutions must continue to invest in ATM technology, even if cash usage declines. At a global level, ATM deployment will continue to rise, as emerging economies roll out estates to service their customer bases.”
The biggest concern, however, when it comes to ATMs is security, with 77 percent of ACIers noting they are at least somewhat concerned about it and only 24 percent saying they felt confident that their ATM transactions are secure. It looks like the industry has its work cut out!
What is your favourite ATM?
My favorite part of the survey were the photographs of some of the more unusual ATMs or ATM locations around the world.
Below is a list of my ‘winning’ shots:
‘ATM girl’ is artwork by word renowned street artist Banksy. The photo was taken by Lu Zurawski near his North London home (unfortunately the painting including the ATM has since disappeared, making way for a corner bistro).
Jay Floyd, Principal Fraud Consultant, took this photo in his hometown of Dartmouth, England, of an ATM sitting so low to the ground that most people would have to kneel to use it. (Jay normally asks his children to use it).
This photo of ATMs on the back of a mini-truck was sent in by Gaston Zuccala. Banks install these ATM on trucks so they can be used during the Argentinian summer season (December to March) in the resorts along the coast when demand for cash high!
And finally, this photo is from my friend Kirsten Giorgione. She does not work for ACI, but I must say this cupcake ATM in New York City looks very appealing to me!
Related Blog Posts
The Race to Real-Time Payments in Europe
Instant payments have quickly morphed into the new norm, and as individual European nations forge a real-time, digital-first payments environment, they raise the bar for all financial institutions conducting business in the Eurozone. It’s no longer a question of “what’s the business case?” but a matter of how instant payments players can take advantage of the opportunities now being created.
Local Perspectives: Real-Time Realities Across Asia-Pacific in 2019
Money20/20 Asia returns to Singapore this week, attracting payments professionals from around the vast APAC region – and beyond. The real-time and open imperative is one of the reasons why all eyes are on Asia-Pacific when it comes to payments, so I caught up with ACI payments experts representing three of the key countries within the region, to take the pulse of real-time schemes that are in varying stages of maturity.
Instant and Open Payments for Consumer Purchases – Lessons Learned From India and Beyond
Did you know that 65% of merchants want to accept instant payments? That’s because they know the customer experience (CX) benefits will drive growth for their business, and they recognize that this payment type will save their business money.
What it Means for a Bank to be Real-Time Ready – It’s More Than Just Payments
Banks are quickly learning that real-time enablement of the business is more than just a technological upgrade – there is a wider challenge of transforming services and customer experience. Although the banking world faces this challenge with some trepidation, there are success stories from other industries that have overcome legacy technologies and transformed frustrating and opaque customer experiences.
Putting Malaysia on the Path to Payments Innovation
The public launch of the DuitNow instant credit transfer service, in December 2018, provides just a taste of what lies ahead as Malaysia’s Real-time Retail Payments Platform (RPP) is progressively rolled out. Fueled by Bank Negara’s (BNM) increasing support for e-payment platform development, there has been a steady increase in mobile wallet and digital payment usage, setting the stage for 2019 to be a year of transformation for the payments industry in Malaysia.
The Potential of 'Request to Pay' to Revolutionize Payments
How often have you been in a situation where you realize in the middle of the month that you’re late paying an important bill? And then hit with a wave of dread as you check your bank account with trepidation to see if you can pay? Many of us are lucky to not be in that situation regularly, but most of us have been there at some point, and likely know others who are regularly confronted by this situation.
Monetizing Real Time and Open Payments A Global View from Leading Banks
Payments experts from Bank of Montreal, Lloyds Bank and Rabobank lead a discussion on #NewPayments use cases.
During Sibos 2018, I was lucky enough to moderate a panel of payments experts from around the globe, including banking leaders representing three key phases of the real-time evolution; early adoption, go-live and ‘wave 2.’ Here, I’d like to share insights from these experts, outlining the challenges and rewards for banks in the new real-time and open payments ecosystem.
All I Want For Christmas (Or Any Holiday) Is… Instant Payments Gratification
Mark, some of us are fast approaching the end of the holiday shopping season, some of us are fast approaching that time of year when we consume too much egg nog, and some of us are fast approaching too many viewings of Die Hard or It’s a Wonderful Life or Love Actually or Christmas in Connecticut (I’ve disclosed too much about myself). To segue slightly more than slightly, I was at Target over the weekend, braving the holiday shopping crowds, to buy toilet paper, paper towels and tissues… and I took advantage of the 5% off that I get from using my Red Card. I surveyed the throngs of other consumers in the nearby checkout lines and not once did I see another store card. During this, the biggest shopping season of the year, why wouldn’t consumers use loyalty/rewards cards when making purchases?
Instant Payments in Italy – And Beyond: Lessons from Il Salone dei Pagamenti
ACI was invited back to Il Salone dei Pagamenti – Italy’s premier payments event organized by the Italian Banking Association (ABI) – to participate in a panel, “SEPA Inst – the Future.” As expected, the session was packed with stats and advice for a more efficient roll out of instant payments – in Italy and beyond.
Request for Pay – What Does It Mean For Financial Institutions?
What do banks – one with $60B+ in assets, one a mid-size regional bank, and one, a small innovative credit union – have in common with payment networks and the ‘Big 4’ consulting firms? They were all part of the first ACI #PaymentsForBreakfast event in North America! The theme was real-time payments, but the focus was more specifically on Request for Pay.