Today, David Tente becomes the first-ever executive director of the U.S. chapter of the ATM Industry Association. Tente takes over responsibilities previously handled by Mike Lee, who is global CEO of ATMIA.
In a recent interview, Tente talked about his new responsibilities, how he sees ATMIA USA continuing to increase its value to members, and what he sees ahead for the ATM industry.
But first things first …
1) It's pronounced "TENT-ee." David Tente is a Minnesota native transplanted to Florida by way of Chicago. He's married and has two grown kids.
2) His background is in financial document imaging. In 1999, Tente went to work for Parascript, the firm that developed handwriting recognition for the U.S. Postal Service. Then the company got into CAR/LAR — courtesy amount recognition and legal amount recognition — for checks. That's when Tente got to know the financial and ATM industries.
His document imaging expertise eventually took Tente to Diebold. There, he worked with sales reps and regional sales managers, credit unions and banks to help them understand how deposit automation fit into the overall picture of payments processing.
3) He thinks his payments background will be useful to ATMIA. Tente sees payments as one of the next big things on the horizon for ATMs in the U.S.
"There's a big demand out there for doing more payment kind of things at the ATM," he said. "It's just a [question of] the applications being developed, and the networks being able to handle it, and all of the other things that have to come together to make that work."
4) He believes his responsibility is to be a facilitator. A large part of Tente's job as executive director will be to ensure that members are getting the value and advocacy they need from ATMIA and its programs. Beyond that, he said, it will be his responsibility to build membership by reaching out to new industry groups.
"One of the things I noticed right off when I started looking at the demographics of the association is that financial institutions in general represent a pretty small percentage of the overall membership," Tente said. "One of the things that I'm going to be doing initially … [is] to spend some time reaching out to both banks and credit unions, making sure that they have good awareness of what is that we do, what kind of resources are available … that the cost of a basic membership is really, I think, a terrific value."
5) He wants the world to see ATMs differently. Looking beyond issues of EMV migration and mobile integration, Tente said one of the biggest challenges to the ATM industry is to get those outside it to understand all that ATMs can do.
"I think a lot of people still kind of tend to dismiss the ATM as nothing more than a cash dispenser," he said. "That's still a huge part of what we do out there, so we're never going to make that disappear — but just getting the message out that ATMs are … an extension of the bank and a very important delivery channel now for banks and credit unions."
5) He thinks ATMIA USA has the potential to do even more for members. Tente wants to work toward offering members more in terms of education, compliance and certification programs — in the way that groups such as AFP and BAI do.
"I really see that kind of a future for ATMIA — where it's a much bigger organization, much higher percentage of it is financial institutions and other owners of ATMs, with much more in the way of education opportunities. And we've done a lot of that from what I can see in just even the last couple of years."
6) He has big plans for the ATMIA US conference. He'd like to see it become bigger, broader and more inclusive of the entire range of professionals who work in and with the ATM industry.
"I've already talked [to others at ATMIA] about increasing the number of sessions that we have substantially, and increasing from two tracks to six tracks," he said. "Just to try to bring in more people and appeal to a little broader base and get non-members involved … it helps eventually to grow the organization as people get more and more interested in what we do and how it can benefit them.
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/ Suzanne’s editorial career has spanned three decades and encompassed all B2B and B2C communications formats. Her award-winning work has appeared in trade and consumer media in the United States and internationally.