Industry experts detail what will make ATMs relevant for the next 50 years
HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. Sept. 13, 2017 – Paragon Application Systems (Paragon) is the leading independent testing solutions provider for the financial services industry. With more than 20 years of experience in ATM testing, Paragon has a unique view of and insight into trends across the banking self-service space.
As the ATM celebrated its 50th anniversary this summer, many financial institutions and independent ATM deployers are questioning how to keep these devices relevant for the next 50 years. Paragon identifies four areas where the ATM industry must advance and improve going forward.
- Mobile friendly – To remain an essential part of financial institutions’ channel strategy, it will be important for ATMs to integrate with everyone’s favorite device, the smartphone. Given consumers’ strong preference for mobile everything, it only makes sense for these devices to become the primary interaction point for ATMs, with the potential to eliminate PIN codes, cards and passwords. In addition to added convenience, this can also provide more secure authentication for ATMs with the use of advancements in areas such as biometrics.
- Familiar look and feel – Consumers have demonstrated they prefer to use devices that offer a user interface similar to what they experience on their smartphones and tablets. Most ATMs still have UIs that are far from intuitive or modern. Introduction of new features, such as allowing consumers to use their smartphone rather than a card to withdraw cash, will require that these dated interfaces to be updated and improved.
- Enhanced Functionality. One thing consumers can’t replace or get more of is time, making it especially important for financial services providers to offer more self-service options. ATMs must continue to transition from being just another channel to becoming an integral part of the branch. This is already taking root in the market as ATM functionality is being integrated into interactive teller machines (ITMs). As more financial services and options are delivered through this single self-service channel, the ITM will be joined by other devices that consolidate services to deliver more convenience to the consumer.
- Ceasing Dependence on Legacy Systems – The payments infrastructure around the world is vital to fueling the ongoing growth of the global economy.Thoroughly testing these complex systems and their interdependencies is difficult to accomplish using testing tools that apply methodologies and approaches that are decades old. Many ATM deployers, financial institutions and network managers still utilize largely manual, repetitive processes to test these machines, slowing time to market for new innovations that are required to keep the ATM relevant to consumers everywhere. New testing strategies need to be implemented to automate repetitive and manual processes and establish a continuous testing methodology that removes the inefficiencies of the dated testing approaches many used by many ATM providers today.
“Contrary to what you might hear, cash remains a preferred method of payment across the globe, making the reality of a cashless society in the near term unlikely,” said Jim Perry, CEO of Paragon. “However, preferences and expectations are changing, and ATMs must concurrently evolve to remain relevant in financial services strategies. These machines can’t be ignored, but should instead be upgraded and enhanced to better serve the modern customer’s needs. If ATM manufacturers and deployers can accomplish this while updating to testing strategies that ensure faster time to market for features that meet the expectations of consumers, they will continue to expertly serve customers for the next 50 years and beyond.”
“We will see more change in the ATM industry in the next five years than we have seen over the past 50.” This quote buy Andy Mattes, the CEO of Diebold Nixdorf, at the ATM and Cash Innovation Europe 2017 conference sponsored by ATMIA, suggests that the key players in the industry are focused on ensuring the ATM is a vital part of society for decades to come. Further efforts, such as the next generation ATM project sponsored by the ATMIA, are also part of these efforts. This project outlines several areas of potential innovation, including a new “app” model for ATMs, further integration with mobile devices and additional uses for security related features such as biometrics.
Paragon Application Systems is the leading independent provider of simulation, configuration, certification, performance and end-to-end testing solutions for the financial services industry. Paragon has enabled more than 600 financial institutions, major interchanges, software providers and payment processors across 90 countries to improve their quality and reduce time to market. The company’s software and services empower these financial services organizations to deliver the services their customers need when they need them. Visit www.paragonedge.com for more information, and follow our blog at www.testingrevolution.com/blog.