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Financial institutions are being squeezed on both the revenue and cost fronts, creating a need to become more efficient and customer-centric than ever before. This dynamic is creating new opportunities to extend the reach of the ATM channel, says Mercator Advisory Group. It sees ATMs playing an increasingly important role as financial institutions seek new cost savings avenues, enhanced customer interaction, and process improvements in the branch channel.

In new research, Mercator predicts new ATM functionalities will spread in the coming years. For example, through 2012, it expects wider spread adoption of revised ADA compliance, cash recycling, advanced diagnostics, condition monitoring, and executive dashboards.

In 2013 and beyond, it sees ATMs taking on integrated multichannel capabilities, on-demand services, near field communications capabilities, and accommodation of EMV credit card standards.

"We are at an inflection point in the evolution of the self-service ATM channel. Macroeconomic conditions are forcing financial institutions to explore new ways to reduce costs, enhance the customer experience, and decrease the workload of branch personnel on basic tasks allowing them more time for customer interaction. Advances in technology offer new, different, and creative ways for customers to conduct an increasing number of business transactions on their own. And new regulations provide a window of opportunity for many financial institutions to upgrade their ATM fleets and leverage expanded functionality," says Ed O'Brien, director of Mercator's Banking Channels Advisory Service.


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