A Wave of Bank Closures
If press reports from the last couple of months are to be believed, we could see as many as 500 bank branch closures in the UK by the end of 2017.
But far from being a reflection of progress towards a cashless society, sources suggest that these closures will see a new-found reliance on ATMs, the likes of which hasn’t been seen before.
In addition to offering the bread-and-butter dispensing and depositing services, OEMs will likely need to think outside the box in development terms, engineering new machines that perform far beyond their core purposes and move instead to the types of services traditionally accessible via a cashier. Development, in fact, has already started.
Over 42% of all retail transactions in the UK are cash-based so the need for cash withdrawal is still prevalent but as the fintech world looks to ATMs to pick up the slack in banking functionality we could see them providing self-services such as mortgage applications, account openings and closures and credit card or loan requests. We will also see greater usage of near field communication (NFC) or ‘contactless’ technology. This is already being rolled-out in some locations nationwide by big names in banking like Barclays.
Inevitably, a new age of banking will be met with some doubt and resistance. In some cases, this involves concern around older generations accessing their money.
A Saga report has revealed that 21% of over 50’s do not currently use online banking and with 31% saying that, should their nearest branch close the second nearest would be too far to visit, the fear is that a switch to automated services from traditional face-to-face could present them with significant stress and anxiety.
Forthcoming ATM feature and design proposals are therefore likely to be mindful of these challenges. The goal will be to present new interfaces in the most user-friendly way possible with straight-forward, clear-cut instructions. A probable solution is that, at least until these multi-use ATMs are fully embedded into everyday life, services will be offered with either accompanying video tutorials or live customer service agents walking us through each step.
Pre-empting Future Challenges
With one eye on the future then, the twin challenge for all estate owners, deployers and service organisations is to pro-actively anticipate and respond to the latest technology which will ultimately involve reacting to 2 key evolutionary aspects; ATM security and compliance.
Powerful new technology that enhances services will also expose vulnerabilities as we come to understand its limitations and the weaker target spots for criminals. Technological ambition does not, of course, always strive for good. As new threats emerge, tighter regulations will be introduced in an effort to prevent and protect. This could mean some costly upgrades for ATM estate owners to ensure they remain compliant. Best to be prepared. Refurbishment rather than replacement could be the answer.
Get in Touch
Interested in the future of ATMs? Keen to learn more about keeping your machines user-friendly or future-proofing your estate?
Have an informal chat with one of our friendly team today on +44 (0)1202 621100.