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Rethinking the cash machine

Earlier this month, NCR was talking about how they plan to rethink the cash machine.

By reconsidering everything from the console's shape to the interface's style and function, "we can create machines that actually make banking cool," says Bob Tramontano, a VP at NCR, the world's largest manufacturer of ATMs.

Meanwhile, the design innovation giant, IDEO, has embarked on a two year endeavour to 'humanise' ATMs for the Spanish banking group BBVA. Instead of a physical keypad, there will be a single, 19-inch touch-screen that lets you do more than your standard ATM would, without getting too complex.

Think of it as an iPhone for the banking industry.

Finally, the ATM channel is getting the overhaul it deserves. As more and more customers move online, cash machines need to at least match the Web experience to stay current.

Of course, as the ATM becomes more innovative and broad in terms of the services it offers, it also becomes more complicated to support. Ensuring ATM uptime and avoiding highly public downtime will be a key part of making these next-generation ATMs a success. Manual testing is fast becoming untenable and so automated testing will increasingly become the norm.

The ATM has come a long way in the last 40 years or so since the introduction of the first cash dispenser machine by Barclays Bank in 1967. This self-service channel is now critical for banks as they look to reduce costs and drive customer service. With innovations taking place in the design, look and feel of the ATM, combined with other technology refreshes in host systems plus innovation in card products, banks are today in the strongest position to fully realise the potential of the ATM channel.

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