Those of us in the ATM space are quite often asked where we stand in an industry increasingly talking about ‘e-‘this or ‘m-‘that. It’s a shame that more such sceptics weren’t listening to Flora Hamilton’s presentation at Wincor World recently, where the
European Head of ATMIA presented a perspective on the ATM of the future. So, anyone that thinks the ATM channel is about to be displaced by mobile payments, e-commerce and a cashless society, look away now…
The number of banknotes in the Eurozone is growing by about nine per cent per year. Cash still accounts for around 78 per cent of retail payments in Europe and in America, ‘even if cash usage was to decline by 17 per cent every five years, the use of cash
still wouldn’t fall below $1billion before the year 2205.’ So, myth number one dispelled; cash isn’t going anywhere!
Not content to only show how much we still rely on ATMs for cash withdrawals, Flora went on to illustrate just how well the ATM channel can support other banking and payment technologies such as NFC and mobile.
Firstly the case of La Caixa in Spain, which recently launched its first pilot of contactless at ATMs. La Caixa hopes to involve 5,000 contactless cards, 1,000 mobile phones and achieve 8,000 transactions by offering customers the choice of contactless and
PIN or traditional card and PIN to drive the transaction. With the next iPhone set to include ‘wave and pay’ and the rest of the telecoms community set to follow suit, this is an interesting option.
Through Dynamic Currency Conversion and the introduction of solar powered ATMs, Flora then highlighted the use of ATMs for international remittances. In Egypt, for example, where 75 per cent of the population are ‘unbanked’, the Arab African International
Bank is offering non-customers services via its ATM network including ‘person-to-person’ transfers. In the same way, Kenya’s successful mobile phone payments service, M-Pesa, now includes cash withdrawals at ATMs.
Innovations such as these, along with other commercial initiatives including lottery ticket dispensing and highly targeted third party advertising, explain in part why we are seeing so many banks investing in the channel at the moment and either renewing
outdated infrastructure or investing in technology that enables increased functionality and improved customer service.
So thank you to Flora and congratulations to Wincor World on a great event. The key to the ATM of the future is not about competing with mobile payments or a move towards a cashless society; it’s about working together, utilising a channel proven for more
than 40 years, to enable greater access to these new technologies.