Banks Need To Consider How Modernized ATMs Can Improve CX

June 28, 2022  |  Mark Hillary

Most companies today are exploring how digital transformation can improve their service offering to customers.

This wave of innovation and transformation was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic – often because companies had no option other than rapidly changing to meet the new circumstances.

But banking is facing a larger wave of change than others. Most regions still have their traditional legacy banks – in some cases, they have built up national networks of branches and agencies over hundreds of years. But there are now challengers that are offering branch services that are open at convenient hours – even at weekends.

Also, there is the recent development of fintech – financial technologies. Largely supported by the app platforms, fintech services often break financial services into different components – like foreign exchange or loans. An app that can offer a loan without all the usual bureaucracy of going to a bank is highly attractive for many consumers – and even more so if the rates are more attractive than a bank.

It’s clear that the traditional banks need to change. They are rapidly closing the most inefficient branches in their traditional networks, but there is a strong social case for them to retain some branches because a percentage of consumers are still not comfortable with online or app-based banking.

But there is another option. Improve the way the branches work.

Branches do serve a useful function. They take the services of a bank out into the community. They are right there on the main street, next to the shops. Many bank customers still prefer being able to visit in person. Even for customers that are comfortable engaging mostly online, a secure branch environment can sometimes be useful – a place to securely collect a new bank card or offer personal service for more complex products, such as a mortgage.

New development and modernization of the traditional ATM can be a quick way to boost the functionality and efficiency of bank branches.

Think about three key ideas that could dramatically improve the ATM experience:
  1. Intuitive interface: make the interface easy and intuitive. Don’t present the customer with fifty different options to choose from. Think about how to make it easier to engage – perhaps even offering a voice option asking what service is required? Let’s move on from the fixed options of the past and make it easy to quickly find services on ATMs.
  2. Video: use the opportunity that a customer is inside the branch to offer a more interactive experience than just presenting a menu on an ATM screen. Create the option to link up live to an expert adviser for advice on investments, mortgages, or other financial products where a live conversation with a real person would help.
  3. Mobile interoperability: most customers are familiar with mobile apps even if they are visiting a branch so take the opportunity to link the phone of the customer to the ATM. This can help with security, it can offer a way to obtain cash without a card (lost wallet), and it can help with document transfer – for example, if the bank requires proof of address then just transfer a PDF of an electricity bill from your phone.

Another option is to develop in-branch systems that are intuitive and easy to use, but designed for employees to use. This can allow bank branches to offer much faster and easier services to customers when guided by a staff member. The systems used by the bank employees and the self-service ATM option can both be improved and made easier and faster to use with some careful thought about design improvements.

Banks that have retained branch networks need to think carefully about how they can use these branches to generate value. Modernizing and developing new ATM services is a very powerful way to retain the usefulness of a branch and improve the customer experience.

Banking is an industry that has always been filled with data. We have already written about why Big Data in banking is set to explode. Moreover, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has offered data analysts some great opportunities to study Big Data trends across the world. Read more about Big Data in a time of pandemic.

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