With great enthusiasm and anticipation, independent sales organizations (ISOs), entrepreneurs and financial services companies across the ATM industry flock to San Antonio this week for the 2012 ATMIA conference. This annual event brings together great minds to discuss the future of the financial services industry, and to showcase best-in-class technology solutions tailored to different consumer groups. While in the space of 40 years ATMs have become ubiquitous and an essential part of daily banking services, financial services kiosks have transformed the industry by offering unbanked and underbanked consumers convenient access to cash based financial services.
At this year's conference, industry leaders will likely unveil the next generation of financial services kiosk platform with enhanced security, user-friendly and customer-centric features. It is expected that the new kiosk platform will be a quantum leap in the industry, as it encompasses innovative navigational features and functionalities with a consumer friendly graphic user interface for 24/7/365 access to expedited bill payment and financial services.
Self-serve financial services kiosks function as reverse ATMs that enable cash-preferred consumers to securely and conveniently pay their wireless, utility, cable and other bills in convenience stores, groceries and other retail locations. Consumers benefit from convenient access to expedited financial services in a safe and welcoming environment, and the availability of services in multiple languages (i.e., English and Spanish). Consumers also use these kiosks to reload their pre-paid debit cards. There is an average processing fee of $3 - $5 associated with each transaction. The next generation of self-serve financial services combines the best in technological breakthroughs with expedited processing of financial transactions and a sound business model.
Today, many ATM network operators and independent sales organizations (ISOs) recognize new revenue opportunities with the placement of financial services kiosks within close proximity to ATMs. The next generation of financial services kiosk platform offers ATM network operators and independent sales organizations (ISOs) new revenue generating potentials through partnership with financial services processors. The kiosk ISO paradigm proves that small and large entrepreneurs can compete on an equal footing.
Market research indicates that more than 25.6 percent of U.S. households or approximately 60 million individuals are either unbanked or underbanked. An estimated 7.7 percent of U.S. households, approximately 9 million, are unbanked. These households do not have a checking or a savings account. Households with earnings below $30,000 account for at least 71 percent of unbanked households. There are approximately 23 million unbanked and underserved Hispanics in the U.S. (FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked).
Behshad Hastibakhsh is the Director of Public Relations at TIO Networks with over a decade long experience in the multi-channel bill payment industry.