In "ATM years," a decade is a very long time. In the past ten years, ATM technologies in security, functionality and communications have leapt forward. Further, non-ATM technologies such as personal computers, smartphones and tablets have grown explosively, raising consumer expectations and moving manufacturers to incorporate new customer-facing features into their ATMs.
So it was that when Triton Systems went to work on its first all-new ATM model line in almost 10 years, the company knew it was time to really shake things up.
"We were way past due coming out with a new machine," said James Phillips, vice president of sales and marketing at Triton. "[O]ur RL series has been around for about eight years now in different incarnations. And really, it was more a spin-off from our 9700/9100 line with some modern tweaks, so we wanted to do something different."
Phillips described three things that set apart the all-new Argo family of products from the other Triton ATM model lines:
1) An entry-level touchscreen ATM
Triton is introducing its first-ever touchscreen ATMs with the Argo line — including a low-end model with a 7-inch touchscreen interface.
Thanks to the smartphone, the tablet computer, the airline check-in kiosk and other devices, consumers today have become accustomed to a touchscreen interface, which is inviting and intuitive to use. Increasingly, ATMs have been migrating to this consumer-friendly technology.
However, Phillips said, to his knowledge, Triton is the first manufacturer to incorporate touchscreen technology into an entry-level retail market ATM. "Generally when you see a touchscreen it's going to be a 12-inch or 15-inch high-end machine," he said.
Story continues below...
The touchscreen interface offers the deployer the opportunity to add other new capabilities to the terminal. For instance, the Argo touchscreen machine can be set up to offer the user an e-receipt — an option that consumers are seeing — and using — more and more at businesses such as retail stores, restaurants and hotels.
"We decided it was time to introduce something a little more environmentally friendly in that we can offer e-receipts, SMS receipts or text receipts versus your typical printed receipt at an ATM," Phillips said.
The touchscreen interface allows the deployer to offer an ATM user the option to skip the receipt and enter an email address or 10-digit phone number on the screen. The information would be used strictly for the purposes of sending a receipt, Phillips said.
"There's no cardholder information tied to it whatsoever, there's no personal data tied to it. But it will restore for a period of time in case someone needs to get the receipt," he said.
Argo is not currently configured to save a user's email address, which would spare the user having to reenter an email address for each transaction. However, down the road Phillips could see addition of capability to store a card-associated email address.
3) Printer punted
Equipping Argo with a touchscreen and e-receipt capabilities allowed Triton to introduce another first — a printer-less ATM. Not only is the non-printing Argo more eco-friendly than the average ATM, but it is also a significantly more economical to operate — to the tune of $800 to $1,000 annually, said Phillips.
"They're no longer going to have to buy receipt paper; they're not going to have to send techs out to fix printer jams. They don't have to worry about printer failure; they don't have to send somebody out to replace a printer with the expense associated with it," he said.
Phillips acknowledged that deployers might initially balk at the idea of foregoing the print option — at least until they and their customers are more accustomed to receiving e-receipts. "But I think down the road you're going to see more and more people migrate away from the printer," he said. "I think especially with the younger generation it will not miss a beat."
4) Options, options, options
Later this year, the company will add a top-of-the-line 15-inch touchscreen machine to the Argo model line. Currently the line also includes a 12-inch LED screen — the 'middle-of-the-road" machine, as Phillips called it — positioned to replace high-end RL 5000 model sales and lower-end NR 2000 sales.
"It's got a bigger screen than either one of them," Phillips said. "But it doesn't come in a touchscreen variety, because there's still a fair number of customers out there that still want to deploy a traditional type of ATM with function keys on the side."
The 12-inch Argo features capacitive-touch function buttons. It also incorporates a backlit LED keypad, answering requests from bars, nightclubs and other low-lighting situations that present difficulties for customers trying to complete an ATM transaction.
Among other incorporated features and available options, the Argo line offers the following:
- five models
- six dispenser choices
- integrated topper
- lighted keypad
- capacitive touchscreens
- EMV and NFC capability
- TKM and MACing
- surveillance camera provision
- skimming protection
- shoulder-surfing protection
5) Pricing, pricing, pricing
Pricing for Argo is not much different from Triton's current product lineup, Phillips said. "What you might see is someone who buys an RL 1600, if they go with a low-end Argo 7-inch screen, they're going to get a bigger screen; they're going to go from a 5.7-inch screen to a 7-inch; they'll go from a non-touch to a touchscreen. And they'll have the option to eliminate the printer, which is a very big cost-of-ownership saving."
And in some cases the buyer will actually get a better Argo for less than an ATM from another Triton line. Comparing an Argo 12-inch to the Triton RL 5000, the Argo is less expensive to a distributor than an RL 5000, Phillips said. "So you get more function, features, and larger screen for less money."
Read more about manufacturers.