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ATM & Cash Innovation Europe is the one-stop event for banks, retailers and suppliers to take a forward look at the trends and developments taking place in ATMs, cash, self-service, branch transformation and multi-channel customer service. Beginning yesterday, the opening presentations have set the scene for the future of ATMs in an increasingly-connected world. Read on for five things we learned yesterday:

  • For innovation to be successful, it has to be designed with humans in mind and to meet a real need.

From 2004 to 2007 the world has changed. We have undergone a social mobile revolution. This was the tectonic technological change presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s Technology Correspondent, during his keynote. From Facebook in 2004 to the launch of the iPhone by Apple in 2007, the digital world has become part of day-to-day life for people worldwide.

Of course, not every innovation has taken off. Bill Gates launched the first tablet 9 years before Apple brought the iPad to market. As Rory went on to explain, for an innovation to cause a revolution you need to fulfil two key requirements. Firstly, it has to be designed with humans in mind – be intuitive to use and simple to learn. Secondly (and probably more importantly), it needs to fulfil a real need in order for widespread adoption to take place. M-Pesa in Kenya is the perfect example of such a development, enabling millions of people to access banking services with the device in their pocket.

  • Mobile, online and physical are coming together as one.

Bill Nuti, Chairman and CEO of NCR, took to the stage to talk about the phenomenal shift the company has undergone since 2005 to become a leading Omni-Channel Solution provider, and shared their vision for 2020 to be the leader in ‘Decision Support Platform Business Solutions’.

With so much consumer data now available, the new challenge facing banks and retailers is how to use this data to draw conclusions about consumer habits and how to provide a personalised experience based on these insights. NCR are investing in building open architecture to ensure that customers can innovate collaboratively with them, using data to drive engagement.

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  • Independent ATM Deployers are undergoing an evolution, not a revolution.

Steve Rathgaber, CEO of Cardtronics, examined the position of IADs in the infrastructure for banks, looking into the key payment industry trends driving changes. With the increased use of mobile solutions, evolving regulatory pressures, digital and branch transformation services and cyber security threats, IADs need to respond to make sure that they stay at the forefront of digital and branch transformation strategies for banks.

  • Seamless consumer experiences are the future for banking.

The future of ATM interactions are becoming ever more digital and ‘mobile-like’, moving past card readers, chips and pinpads to a more streamlined and elegant solution. As ATMs enable the automation of more banking transactions it enables banks to provide a local customer experience for more and more people. As Andy Mattes, CEO and President of Diebold Nixdorf reminds us, a key consumer reason for choosing a bank is the proximity of their nearest branch. By providing ‘branches in a box’, banks can continue to meet this demand. Finally, Andy went on to highlight individualisation as a key future development in consumer banking. Using new technologies and data analysis enables banks to provide a personal experience and is the future of ATM and self-service channels.

  • Think carefully about whether a new technologies are suitable for your business.

Julian Arnold, the Global Head of ATM (Self Service) at HSBC, presented an illuminating case study on the deployment of Video Teller Machines (VTMs) in China. Responding to a strategic goal to grow a market share in one region, HSBC brought in VTMs over a 2-year lead period to enable customers to open a bank account quickly and easily.

However, though the technology works well, caution must be used to assess whether new technologies are the future or just a fad. Implementing such an ambitious project comes with a host of complexities, requiring careful cost-benefit analysis to assess whether it is the right technology for the area. In particular, look at consumer behaviours to assess whether they will be comfortable using the channel, and also look at how it will fit into your existing ecosystem of channels to ensure a seamless experience for the customer.

The conference concludes today at the Lancaster London Hotel, and we look forward to hearing more about the latest innovations from banks, ATM manufacturers and software providers throughout the event. To find out more about the event and the ATM Industry Association, visit the ATMIA website.