The future of banking: revolutionizing the ATM
“Serving yourself” has become a 21st century trend. Whether it’s scanning your groceries at the store, refueling at the gas station, or ordering your fast food at the kiosk, organizations are always looking for ways to help consumers help themselves.
And in the world of banking, it’s no different. In fact, the bank introduced us to one of the most popular self-service tools over 40 years ago: automatic teller machines (ATMs). These have revolutionized the way we access our money, making it easy, accessible and available, anywhere and everywhere!
But in today’s world, the ATM is becoming obsolete. Let me explain:
Banking smarter, not harder
The reason self-service technology has grown tremendously over the past few decades is because of its popularity; self-service makes our lives easier, makes services more accessible and saves us time. And banks are not there to complicate our lives, they want to give us the means to manage our finances easily and efficiently.
In this spirit, we attended a increase in contactless payments. Things like paying for a coffee, making a donation, or hopping on the subway can be done with a tap of a card. Plus, there are apps for almost everything; book a taxi with Uber or Lyft, pay for parking, or transfer money to a friend. Those very reasons why we needed to carry around a stack of cash in our wallets have a smarter alternative.
Since the ATM is a tool for accessing our physical dollars – which we rarely need now – its purpose is quickly becoming obsolete. You might expect to see them slowly disappearing from our streets, but that’s not what we’re seeing.
Instead, as an organization, we are noticing a change. Our smart lockers have been popular in the parcel delivery space for some time, facilitating deliveries/pickup from retailer to consumer. But now other industries are noticing the potential. For example, libraries are implementing locker solutions for book delivery, grocery stores are using them to enable contactless shopping, and banks are exploring how smart lockers can become the ATMs of the future.
You see, banking is not just about handling cash. There are loans, savings and investments, mortgages and credit cards; in other words, more potential for self-service. Perhaps withdrawing cash is a thing of the past, but access to these vital services is still highly relevant to our present and future. Thus, banks set up smart lockers to act as advanced ATMs. These terminals make it possible to securely transfer documents from the bank to the consumer, and vice versa. And as such, they allow the customer to manage their finances easily and efficiently (the exact reason why we love self-service).
The future of banking
We know How? ‘Or’ What banks are using smart lockers but the question is Why find an alternative future for the ATM? There are a few reasons:
- To help them save resources and money. With more self-service processes, banks need less physical space. Money spent on real estate can be invested elsewhere, for example in building more innovative solutions like contactless payments.
- Facilitate an improvement in the consumer experience. For the consumer, more self-service options can only be positive. There will be no more queuing or waiting to simply drop off a signed document, for example. And with staff freed from the more mundane of tasks, services will become more efficient and effective.
- Enable 24/7 access to banking services. Typically, bank hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the same office hours as many organizations. So how can workers do their financial administration when the bank is closed in their spare time? Smart lockers allow banks to offer 24/7 services. Customers can securely deposit documents at a time that suits them, just as they can withdraw cash at 2 a.m. if they need it.
The ATM has been an essential part of managing our finances for many years, and although in its current form the ATM is becoming a bit of a hobby, the ATM revolution is well underway. In the future, we can expect more and more banks to offer advanced kiosks, breathing new life into the concept of the trusty ATM.