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What is next for ATMs as retail payment technologies evolve?

I was asked recently to predict the future for ATMs (Auto Teller Machines) and the services they will provide. I approached this by looking back at what has driven the development of the ATM hardware and software we see today.  My conclusion is that mass market technologies that have enabled ATMs to lower the cost of current their operation or reduce levels of card fraud as well as moving banking transactions from the branch teller to the ATM itself. 

An example of each of these are:

1.       Deploying thermal printers reducing the need for ink ribbons and mechanical impact printers.

2.       EMV card support to reduce counterfeit card usage at ATMs.

3.       Mini statement service providing more account information than just balances and reducing customers asking staff for transaction histories in branch.

We are now seeing the deployment of a generation of ATM’s accepting contactless connected payment devices (not just cards) with advancing cash recycling potentially exploiting new machine-readable note technologies.  Both these technologies fit the mass market technology model.  Contactless technologies will make ATM transactions faster and easier for customers with the additional benefit of more reliable ‘Solid State’ hardware.  The deployment of machine readable notes will make cash recycling more reliable, simpler and more convenient for customers. 

Contactless ATMs I believe will be a platform that will support the emerging technologies of Crypto Value Tokens / Smart Paper ‘Cash’ as well as mobile based biometric based customer authentication at the ATM.  However, with this generation of ATMs we will start to see cash usage fall in most markets.  This is due to increased use of contactless payments, displacing cash use and mobile banking applications become customers personal access point for banking services in these markets.  

Looking into the future I still see people wanting some of features of cash such as a physical representation of value that can be transfered. I foresee the next generation of ATMs dispensing general purpose ‘Cash / Currency’ tokens that work alongside personal devices that manage the value loaded on the token.   These ATMs as well as offering deposit and recycling services will also support a process to remove one generation of tokens from circulation and dispense one with increased security features just like cash is today. 

Further in to the future as technologies such as 3D printing continue to develop machines that can manufacture the value token, dispense and finally recycle these physical value tokens back to its raw materials may become the ATM of the future.  This type of technology will create machines where value tokens are just one product that is created and recycled from a list of consumer products made from similar raw materials.  I see the future as more Star Trek ‘Replicator’ machine on the high street rather than the ATM we see on our high street. 

Only time will tell if I am correct or payments become fully dematerialised with physical tokens of value and thus ATMs becoming obsolete.




Comments: (3)

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - SME - Fintech startups (APAC and Africa) - India 24 February, 2018, 19:05Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Anthony - You came with good concept of Next ATM functionality of Customised Token. It can enable Crypto Currency for banks. 

There is catch as these tokens needs to be compatiable and wide spread across various modes for payments.

Anthony Pickup
Anthony Pickup - Capgemini Invent - Manchester 26 February, 2018, 16:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi Hitesh,

The token I forsee the token interfacing via a contactless based technology and the acceptable form factors dependant on a set of central banks requirements much like notes today.  

Ultimately the form factor will enable currencies to maintain their national identity and provide the token trust of the transferable value held.


Anthony Pickup
Anthony Pickup - Capgemini Invent - Manchester 26 February, 2018, 16:49Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

PS - the presentation was for Smart Payments Forum

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