The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) recently published a new position paper regarding Universal Cash Deposits for ATMs. The ability to deposit cash is a vital part of the ability to access cash, both for the customers who use cash and for businesses who accept it as a form of payment.
With the number of bank branches dwindling around the country, there is an increasing risk of “cash deserts,” where easy access to cash is not available. In these areas of the country, ATMs have a great role to play in preventing much of the country losing access to cash. ATM deposits, known as Universal Cash Deposit, can be defined as “an interoperable system within an ATM network, or across multiple networks, for accepting cash deposits at enabled ATMs on an ‘interbank’ basis, whereby a customer from one bank may deposit cash at ATMs owned and operated by other banks or by IADs.”
ATMs Play Their Part
To help prevent cash deserts around the country, ATMs that accept deposits “lead to greater cost efficiencies in the circulation and distribution of cash – which remains the main service provided by ATMs more than 50 years after their invention.”
Additionally, ATMs have a role to play in generating increased income for ATM owners who place deposit-accepting ATMS in their businesses (such as convenience stores, boutiques, salons, bars and restaurants).
According to ATMIA’s position paper, they believe that “deposit-taking ATMs and recirculating ATMs will be a huge part of the future of the ATM industry and of the cash cycle in most economies. The blueprint for Next Gen ATMs specifies the standard interfaces for the cash-in and cash-out functionality, for both notes and coins.
“To promote this excellent technology, the association recommends that each ATM network around the world implements standard Universal Cash Deposit Transaction functionality. This will allow any citizen or business with a bank account to deposit cash at any cash recirculating enabled ATM in that network, or across networks, thus reinvigorating the whole cash cycle and spreading access to cash despite the fall in the number of bank branches.”
As bank branches continue to disappear around the country, especially in rural communities, access to an increased menu of financial transaction services that ATMs can provide, will be increasingly important to keeping access to cash available nationwide.