ATMs are now cardless, making them more convenient and secure for users.

How to optimize your in-branch self-service network

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The ATM is over 50 years old, but it's fair to say that it has never looked so good. Its an easy case to make based upon the frequency with which customers use these self-service machines, now staples in the vast majority of branches and credit unions.

Nearly 66 percent of Americans used an ATM at a local bank branch or credit union in 2017, according to recent polling done by Ipsos Public Affairs. This represents an uptick from 56 percent during the previous year.

ATMs are also popular with the U.S.' largest generation: millennials. Among 18- to 35-year-olds, more than 70 percent of respondents used an ATM at their area bank branches last year, the survey revealed. That's up sharply from 61 percent in 2016. Additionally, 45 percent said they'd interacted with ATMs that weren't affiliated with their banking institution.

To achieve high-quality customer service, it's clear that retailers – banks and otherwise – are prioritizing self-service. Self-checkouts are growing more commonplace, giving buyers more options to purchase goods without having to wait in line. Cash is still king, so retailers are also installing ATMs at their locations to more fully embrace convenience shopping.

But in the half-century that ATMs have been around, there have been significant strides in terms of optimization. The automated tellers of yesteryear, with their limited functionality, are extraordinarily outdated. And with regard to ATMs: more is more. Banks and credit unions need to assess their current equipment base and new acquisitions with a sharp eye for detail in order to ensure optimization.

Here are a few of capabilities worth considering that can optimize your self-service networks:

Embrace Windows 10
Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 10 is being touted as the OS of the future, widely considered to be the most secure system to reach the market in years. This has made integration of new and existing hardware with Windows 10 critical for FIs: Featuring multiple layers of built-in security efficiencies – that can vet and detect cyber threats, the ATM Industry Association suggests a 2020 migration to begin as soon as possible. After all, ATM hardware presently in use and serviced will still likely be in the banking ecosystem come 2020.   

Invest in security
The frequency of identity theft is epidemic in the United States and tactics are pervasive. Thieves have now infiltrated some ATM networks with the intent of lifting personal information. Whether its so-called "card skimming," compromised PIN numbers or malware, ATM crime has risen, affecting 54 percent of branches and credit unions last year, according to the ATM Industry Association. That's a 12 percent increase from 2016.

But technology is increasingly outpacing scammers' chicanery. Safe door enhancements, privacy screens to prevent eavesdropping and security cameras help keep your customers safe from prying eyes. 

Seek speed
Customers' need for speed largely expedited the ATM's arrival, with even primitive models doing in seconds what once to require minutes. But ATMs are now even quicker, serving as the banking equivalent of delivery that's truly "in and out." Quick services are achieved through newly installed components, ongoing maintenance and adding the benefits of mobile check deposits. 

Go cardless
When ATMs first entered the mobile banking fray – and for decades afterward – transactions were virtually impossible for account holders without a bank card in hand. These cards served security functions and identification purposes.

Technology has made ATM cards less common. They're still used, of course, but with more Americans using their mobile devices for banking needs, smartphones can now double as ATM keys. This makes for greater convenience and adds an extra layer of security that's priceless both to your bottom line and the protection of your customers' personal data.

Account holders are never alone when they use self-service technologies, not when BranchServ is your vendor. Our automation combines speed, security and convenience that's unprecedented and reinforces the brand impression you desire. 

Contact us today and take your digital systems to the next level!