Now that digital payments are gaining ground, many wonder if ATMs still have a role to play in the banking industry. However, latest figures demonstrate that the number of ATMs is rising around the world and especially in emerging economies such as India, where solar-powered ATMs implemented in rural areas significantly contributed to this growth.
Furthermore, ATM suppliers are striving to adapt their cash machines to the digital shift to offer additional services. Indeed, the new generation of ATMs enables customers to access standard banking services on a self-service basis and talk to bank staff via a video option. The screen reproduces the characteristics of a smartphone and can be swiped or zoomed. Furthermore, the machines do not require a bankcard as withdrawals can be completed with a phone via the bank’s app. These new “bank in a box” machines could replace local branches that banks keep closing to reduce costs.
Newly-designed ATMs are already available in the US and in Switzerland, and will be introduced in Europe, UK, Australia and New Zealand very soon. Greg McBride, chief analyst at Bankrate.com
, believes that smartphones will be increasingly used to access cash at ATMs in the future.