You’ve really got to hand it to ATM suppliers. ATMs have been around for over 50 years but the technology continues to evolve. Machines are no longer dedicated solely to cash dispensing. They now support a multitude of transactions, incorporate cash recyclers and provide cardless access capabilities.
Bonus features and functions have helped improve the overall customer experience for branch goers and fueled the success of the ATM business. Banks and credit unions no longer just buy an ATM machine here and there. They buy LOTS of them, for many locations, as 36% of the nation’s financial institutions have ATM placements ranging from 1,000 to north of 2,000, according to the most recent estimates available from ATM Marketplace.
What can the ATM do for you and your customers? A better question to ask might be what can’t it do, as the technology is as close to one-stop shopping than ever before.
If you have baseline ATMs in place but are looking to rejuvenate your fleet, there are numerous options and most ATM suppliers are happy review them with you to help you achieve your goals.
No crash for cash
But before we get into the specifics, it’s helpful to understand why ATMs remain as popular as they are, thus justifying the optimization of your ATM network. Quite simply, and contrary to what the headlines about credit cards and mobile payments seem to suggest, cash is still king here in the US. Indeed, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, nearly one-third of all transactions are made in cash. For purchases $10 or less, they represent a healthy majority (55%).
“Americans carry more cash on them, averaging around $59.”
Additionally, Americans carry more cash than ever on them, averaging right around $59, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco says. That’s not an aberration either, as the total amount carried has risen consistently compared to previous years, up from $57 in 2016 and $51 in 2015.
Nguyen Viet Hu’ng, executive vice president for a South Asia-based bank investment and development center, told ATM Marketplace that online banking adherents must admit smartphones have limitations that ATMs don’t.
“For fast and easy access to real funds, heavy users of online and mobile avenues turn to the most convenient, quick and easy solution — the ATM,” Hu’ng explained.
This explains why roughly 90% of financial institutions consider ATMs to be important to their overall strategy, according to recent polling. Additionally, almost two-thirds of FIs say they intend to upgrade their ATM hardware as operating systems dictate, which means they need a trusted ATM supplier on hand when that time comes.
So long Windows 7, hello Windows 10
Speaking of which, Microsoft’s very latest OS – Windows 10 – is perhaps the best way for FIs to optimize their ATM fleet. The intelligent features and state-of-the-art functionality will give Microsoft’s new OS staying power. With Jan. 14 less than four months away, Windows 7 will soon power down for good. After this point, Microsoft will only release security updates and performance patches for the latest OS. And that’s not all… The ATM Industry Association points to at least four takeaway benefits of Windows 10 migration:
- Performance enhancements that weren’t available with Windows 8
- Augmented security protection from multiple cyberattacks, particularly malware
- More regularly occurring service packs and patches released by Microsoft
- The realization of a long promised “single Windows for everything”
As Windows ME and Windows 8 proved, migrating to a new OS doesn’t guarantee improved performance. However, The ATM Industry Association devoted much of 2017 to assessing the worthiness of Windows 10, considering the costs and time often required for banks with large ATM networks. The 170 industry member panel it formed concluded that it was indeed worthwhile, especially in light of the fact that Microsoft guarantees full support through at least 2026.
Certain ATM suppliers now sell ATM machines with Windows 10 already installed, enabling FIs that buy one or more ATMs that are usable straight out of the box, thus avoiding the migration process altogether. This is precisely what FIs want, as the ATM Marketplace poll found 41% seek out upgrades to minimize required upgrades down the road.
Settle for more
In certain contexts, the old-adage of “less is more” certainly rings true. Banking customers still appreciate face-to-face interactions with tellers and other bank personnel as good help can be hard to find these days. However, when it comes to ATMs and the services rendered, more is more. Tap-and-go transactions, mobile pre-stage, remote teller assist, biometric authentication, multi-unit currency dispensing… you name it, today’s ATMs do it all. To take your ATM fleet to the next level, financial institutions shouldn’t settle for anything less than the very best. This includes consideration for future proofing the fleet with advanced functionalities via hybrid equipment options.
Finally, to truly optimize your ATM fleet, you need to be mindful of what never goes out of style – and that’s security. ATM users can’t get enough of it, especially in an age where threats seem to be lurking around every corner. The good news is that Windows 10 is believed to be among the most secure operating systems to come down the pike in a generation, featuring built-in protections that make it harder to steal identities and manipulate system controls, which previously led to “jackpotting.” In addition, ATM service providers offer security protections that include whitelisting, lockdown, anti-virus software, password management and hard disk encryption. Ultimately, ATM users who feel secure with the technology are more likely to continue using ATMs for cash withdrawals and expand their self-service transaction set.
“Security never goes out of style.”
Here at BranchServ, we’re fully aware that consumers want nothing but the best and won’t settle for anything less. They shouldn’t, given the many advancements that technological innovation makes possible. This puts the pressure on you. Whether you’re looking to leverage your current ATMs with updates to today’s standards or make a bolder move with new technology, BranchServ sets a higher standard. Our dedicated project management teams will provide expert installation and detailed plan drawings that can transform your ATM fleet into a powerhouse of performance. Contact us and we’ll help you put your Best Branch Forward.
Contact us today and take your digital systems to the next level!