Despite relatively low temperatures in Miami this week, the ATM Industry Association's annual U.S. conference is proving to be a hotspot for ATM deployers. Show organizers said this morning the association is raking in record attendance numbers, with more than 700 attendees and reps from exhibiting companies, as well as a record number of sponsors.
The show floor is abuzz with energy and excitement about new financial channels, including mobile. How ATMs and the mobile banking or mobile payments channel will or can complement each other is a focus at this year's event. It's also a topic ATMmarketplace.com is following closely. Today ATMmarketplace.com launches its BankingMobile Twitter account, which you can follow @BankingMobile.
ATMmarketplace.com sees a strong interest in mobile banking. It's the reason we launched our Mobile Banking Research Center over the summer, and the reason we plan to continue covering the mobile channel more closely over the course of the next several months.
Yesterday in Miami, the topic of mobile was key for ATMIA's new International Payments Forum. Led by Lyle Elias, the forum is expected to make mobile one of its focal points for 2010.
How mobile will affect the ATM industry remains to be seen, but ATMIA says it wants to be at the forefront.
It's an interesting issue, since the use of mobile banking technology could bypass the ATM. I don't foresee that happening anytime soon. In fact, I see the two channels as being complementary.
Granted, mobile should be perceived as a so-called disruptive technology; but as anyone who follows technological breakthroughs knows, disruptive technologies always open doors to unforeseen possibilities. In the ATM industry's case, I expect the mobile channel leading to new transactions — and we're already seeing evidence of that.
The world's top ATM manufacturers in the financial-institution arena — Diebold Inc., NCR Corp. and Wincor Nixdorf AG — have all taken strong interests in mobile. All three have deployed solutions, with help from mobile partners such as ClairMail, mFoundry and Sicap (announced this week) that connect the ATM with mobile options. But, like the rest of us, they're feeling their way through the changes mobile banking and payments could bring.
I'll be covering some of the technology from the road in Miami, paying close attention to what mobile banking means for security, payments and the future of the ATM.
As we delve more deeply into the coverage of mobile banking, more questions rise to the surface: Who will lead the charge — FIs, telcos or Internet service providers? How secure are mobile transactions, and who, ultimately, is responsible for ensuring the transactions are safe? Who will set best practices?
ATMIA is working to tackle some of those issues, but quite a bit remains to be seen.