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By Cleopatra Mavredis, Global Marketing Manager, Channel Solutions,NCR Corp.
As the banking industry increasingly embraces trends such as self-service, the ATM network is becoming more crucial than ever before to a bank's branding.
Today's solutions offer much more than simple cash dispensing, providing consumers with the ability to complete a huge range of transactions from these devices.
Therefore, with debit card use on the rise, ATMs need to work as effectively as possible.
This means all transactions must be fully operational at the device, including the ability to get cash, and with the same high-quality experience customers are accustomed to receiving at the counter.
It can be hugely frustrating for an ATM user to be unable to withdraw cash. We can surely relate to such a negative consumer experience, which typically occurs in the most inopportune situations.
ATMs that have the ability to accept check and cash deposits and recycle cash (which is gaining popularity), are even more critical to the bank for two very simple reasons: First, they help to reduce cash distribution and handling costs; and secondly, they enable consumers to physically re-bank funds after hours.
So how can banks ensure their ATM networks are delivering the services consumers expect? With the right technology, FIs can make key processes operate much more smoothly and ensure that customers aren't inconvenienced.
Taking a complete view of ATM performance
An ATM should never be out of cash. However, it should also never be overfilled with cash because of both the cost and the risk associated with having unused cash lying around.
Here is where having the right software can be hugely helpful in ensuring notes are distributed to ATMs that are driving revenue for the bank through the services they offer and the high volume of transactions performed.
A bank that monitors the status of ATMs in real time can be alerted when cash levels fall beneath a certain threshold, allowing the FI to arrange for replenishments before downtime becomes an issue.
By combining this strategy with device management, a financial institution can avoid sending cash replenishments when the ATM is out of service due to hardware or communication related faults, thus furthering its savings. The ability to handle this through technology is extremely powerful.
These tools can also help with route planning for replenishment and deposit retrieval, allowing cash-in-transit providers to optimize their deliveries based on true cash demand, maximizing efficiency even further.
Cutting down on costs
A strong cash-recycling solution can also help ensure notes are always available to customers. Such solutions can be particularly useful in locations that experience high volumes of both deposits and withdrawals, as they can cut down on the costs associated with sending CIT personnel out to these machines on a regular basis.
At the same time, effective software to support cash and check deposits improves the efficiency of ATMs and also reduces the need for CIT visits. For example, NCR Intelligent Deposit has helped ING Belgium reduce CIT visits from once weekly to once every three weeks, which saves the bank both time and money.
Not only can these innovations improve the efficiency of the ATM network, but they also can improve the performance of bank branches as a whole.
For example, since Spanish FI Caja Madrid switched to a fully automated deposit service, it has seen queuing times in its branches drop from approximately half an hour to just seven minutes.
Taking steps now to improve the efficiency of ATM networks will have an immediate impact on the costs associated with managing this channel, and will also set up banks well for the longer term.
As financial institutions around the world start to replace aging ATM networks with more modern, feature-rich devices, those that get a head start and implement the services consumers expect will be well placed for years to come.
This article originally appeared at banking.com and was reprinted with permission from NCR Corp.
Companies: NCR Corporation