The future threat facing ATMs (Part 2)
Pioneering new technology developed in the UK offers a potential solution to this challenge.
Remote access technology has long been used to help IT support staff ‘remote in’ to office computers but it is only recently that we have seen its capacity to transform the management of ATM software and create cash machines that could fulfil many of the functions of traditional bank branches.
Remote access technology allows banks to simultaneously upgrade millions of ATMs to new operating systems from a central support centre. This would reduce the enormous operational cost associated with keeping ATMs operationally effective and adaptive to consumer expectations. The software would also dramatically reduce technical operating costs by enabling software problems or cyber security vulnerabilities to be remotely diagnosed and fixed by a technician in a remote support centre, without having to send people out to the site. Banks could crowd-source support from any relevant technical expert for any problem-from a hack attack to a software bug-in real-time, dramatically reducing downtime and mitigating security risks.
The screen-sharing software, being developed in Cambridge, will also allow financial institutions to future-proof ATMs by building in the ability to remotely roll out new customer-friendly technologies, whenever required.
The system could turn cashpoints into a ‘bank in a box’ where customers can talk to bank managers via video and audio, or get bank staff to ‘remote in’ to the machine to guide them through transactions in real-time. This would mean the strategy of moving customers to other transaction channels outside bank branches does not come at the expense of human interaction between staff and customers. It would also enable banks to provide a new ‘brand touchpoint’ where customer-staff interactions take place, and an opportunity to upsell new services to customers through Smart ATMs.
The key for banks to migrate customers away from over-the-counter teller transactions is to create cashpoints that have the same technological adaptability as other payment systems and offer many of the same features as the traditional bank branch. By dramatically lowering the cost of everything from ATM upgrades to customer support, remote access technology will bring us closer to a world where every cashpoint is a future-proofed, feature-rich banking experience.