Over the past year as the world has contended with the global coronavirus pandemic, industries far and wide have grappled with the need to create personal space and, when possible, ways to conduct touchless transactions. The ATM industry is no exception.

A new report by RBR, a London-based research and consulting firm, finds that “Banks are looking for greater flexibility and functionality to enhance the customer experience at their ATMs and advanced software is helping them get there.”

ATMs of the Future

RBR’s study, ATM Software 2021, looks at current practices with ATM software and how banks across the world are revealing insights into their future software plans.

In the study’s press release, RBR finds that banks are looking for touch-free banking options. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made offering customers a touch-free way of interacting with an ATM even more important. Many banks are actively exploring software which allows methods for identifying a customer other than the ubiquitous card and PIN. NFC/contactless withdrawals are becoming more common, while there is growing interest in biometric authentication across the world, with deployers from China to Colombia either rolling it out, or evaluating whether to do so.

“RBR’s research shows enhancing the customer experience at ATMs though personalisation is also a major focus for banks. Many provide a “quick cash” option, which dispenses a default amount predefined by the customer, while having access to a payee list drawn from other channels is increasingly available. Banks are also keen to use marketing solutions at their terminals which offer tailored products to individual customers, and some are upgrading their ATM software specifically to implement this.”

Additionally, banks are increasingly monitoring their ATMs to provide a better experience for their customers. “Banks also want access to more detailed information on transactions including predictive analytics so that potential problems at ATMs can be resolved before they occur, and crucially, keep availability high.”

The Value of Technology

As technology advances, banks and financial institutions are recognizing that better and more personalized technology can be a boon to safety and efficiency. The study’s lead researcher, Alan Burt, stated, “Banks are seeking solutions that can run on any hardware, allow access via a range of contactless methods, provide a unique, personalised customer experience, and keep terminals available round the clock. Suppliers, therefore, have vast scope to offer banks their expertise and guidance to ensure ATMs meet customers’ needs in a new post-COVID-19 world”.

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