Subramanian Hariharan
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Kiosks-450x300Globally banks and financial institutions are experiencing rising costs of customer services and engagement and need to adopt cost-effective customer engagement channels. Self-service kiosks such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are now being used to cater to both financial and non-financial products and services at lower costs and at locations with limited infrastructure development and consumer literacy. Institutions can offer their services across a vast geography without the help of sales assistants. However, as these ATMs require significant investment, it is important for banks or third party deployers to target ways of realizing a positive Return on Investment (ROI). One way to do this is to provide multiple services using the same kiosks or leveraging existing kiosks for providing new services.

In order to extend the ATM’s functioning beyond cash dispensing and make transactions card-issuer agnostic, banks can white label or virtualize them by leveraging the latest developments in data transmission and storage. For instance, ATMs can now be used for paying insurance premium, institution fees, taxes (in certain countries), as well as making remittances, ticketing, and for third party advertising. ATMs can provide secure access to customized applications using additional features such as credit card readers, bar code scanners, receipt and ticket printers, and biometrics. As a result, the business benefits of using ATMs as self-service kiosks include enhanced customer experience, better quality of transactions, positive impact on the top line and bottom line.

Tapping into the Versatility of ATMs

With the help of easy-to-use graphic user interface (GUI), each transaction in an ATM can be completed in a few steps, where each step is accompanied by an on-screen prompt for the user. The on-screen text can be in the local-language, and there can be images accompanying the text to enhance understanding. Some of the potential value added services that can be dispensed using ATMs are bill payments, deposit automation using check imaging, sale of financial and other products, information kiosks, third party advertising, remittances and public announcements.

Adopting ATMs as a self-service channel: Key Impacts

The new generation of ATMs is expected to adopt innovation and technology within the self-service channel that will further enhance operational efficiency, consumer experience, and security. Some of the trends likely to impact adoption of ATMs include:

  • Converging ATMs and mobile channels: The coupling of mobile banking and ATMs can help realize multiple deployment solutions ranging from contactless transactions at ATMs to making impromptu payments.
  • Two-way video technology: ATMs can be equipped with two-way videos to provide consumers the option of human interaction for advanced or complex transactions. It can also be a good way for enterprises to connect with consumers in remote locations.
  • Chip and pin or EMV: Chip-based cards can be used to protect against unauthorized transactions.
  • Contactless cards: Other than EMV and biometric scanners, contactless smart cards are being added to ATM kiosks to reduce chances of fraud.

ATMs are evolving as geography-independent and cost-effective engagement centers. Both financial institutions and non-financial institutions can take advantage of the flexibility of ATMs for dispensing a variety of services with the help of the wide range of technology available for use with ATMs. Given the benefits of enhanced customer experience, positive impact on both the top and bottom line, and the assurance of better transaction quality, it can be deduced that ATMs will soon emerge as a powerful channel of self-service for a wide variety of services. In order to augments its power, ATM owners and providers must work to enhance the security, assurance, and persistence of transactions to ensure an even wider acceptance.

For additional information, read our White Paper on ‘Improving Consumer Access to Payment Services through ATM Kiosks‘.


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