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ATMs: Cash is simply not enough

| by Ron Delnevo
ATMs: Cash is simply not enough

As I travel around the world, one of the most surprising — and annoying — things I notice is the wide disparity in the transaction sets of ATMs.

In some countries, notably Spain, Portugal and Italy, there are over 70 transactions that can be carried out when visiting an ATM. Event and transport ticket purchase, bill payment, settling taxes or fines, money transmission, and bitcoin cash-out are just some of the many transactions available at ATMs in enlightened markets.

In other countries, such as Germany, France and the U.K., ATMs are frankly boring. For example, around 3 billion customers visit machines in the Link U.K. network each year and do little more than get cash.

Would Tesco be happy if they had 3 billion customers who only bought a pint of milk each?


All those customers doing very little are a wasted opportunity — and it's long past time to do something about it.

Two new transactions that should soon be emerging at ATMs in the U.K. are the electronic image deposit of checks and cash deposit.

Both are exciting innovations and I am particularly excited by convenient cash deposit.

Currently in the U.K., some banks allow their customers to deposit cash at their own bank's ATMs. However, with branch numbers continuing to decline, this is not a truly convenient service for the public.

What is needed is for any bank's accountholder to be able to deposit cash in any ATM with a deposit facility. This would be a first class service for customers and would make cash even more convenient to use than it is already.

Ultimately, of course, we need to see every new ATM installed anywhere in Europe capable of both accepting cash and recycling the currency deposited. This will make cash a very "green" payment method, help reduce handling costs and allow ATMs to operate more efficiently in areas where it is difficult to provide regular cash-in-transit services.

If you are thinking, "This is far-fetched!", think again.

Every ATM installed in Japan today accepts cash deposits and recycles the currency deposited.

Anyone who has visited Japan will be aware that Japanese businesses know a thing or two about customer service. It's time Europe copied the best of what's on offer in that country. To fail to do so is both to neglect customers' needs and to sacrifice significant potential profits. Who can afford such mistakes today?

Topics: Associations / Conferences, ATM Innovation, Cash Dispenser / Recycler / Acceptor, Transaction Processing, Trends / Statistics

Companies: ATM Industry Association (ATMIA)

Ron Delnevo
Ron created the U.K. IAD Bank Machine in 2003 and led the company until 2012. In March 2014, he took up the role of executive director for the ATM Industry Association in Europe. Ron has a special focus on supporting choice in payment methods.

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