Banks around the world are making the most of evolving ATM functionality to achieve efficiency gains for their businesses.
That is one of the key conclusions of the Retail Banking Research (RBR) Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2022 report, which noted that ATMs have “come a long way from being just a cash delivery channel”.
The number of cash withdrawals made in 2016 did increase by six percent year-on-year, reaching 107 billion.
However, customers have also seen the benefit of new functions in the self-service channel, such as real-time cash deposits. By the end of 2016, 1.1 million ATMs – more than a third (34 percent) of the global total – could be used to automatically deposit banknotes.
The proportion of ATMs offering this facility was highest in the Asia-Pacific region (47 percent), followed by Western Europe (30 percent) and North America (26 percent).
One of the biggest advantages of automated deposit ATMs for financial institutions is that they allow over-the-counter cash deposits to be migrated to the self-service channel, meaning staff can focus on more valuable activities, such as sales.
Customers also benefit from greater service availability, since they are not constrained by branch opening times when they need to make a deposit.
The RBR figures also highlighted growth in recycling ATMs, which can help banks to boost efficiency and reduce cash-in-transit costs by automatically dispensing deposited banknotes. More than 670,000 ATMs had recycling capability at the end of 2016, up from 360,000 in 2012.
Rowan Berridge, who led the RBR research, said: “Banks are improving the functionality of their ATMs so that more transactions can be migrated from the branch counter to self-service, freeing up staff to undertake sales and advisory tasks.
“Furthermore, they are increasingly rationalizing their branch networks and using ATMs to offer a wide range of services in areas that do not justify the presence of a traditional outlet.”
As the industry moves into 2018, making the most of new functionality and driving further efficiency in the ATM channel is likely to be a key focus for many banks.