Linking the digital revolution in financial services via ATMs (Part 1)
With financial services in the midst of the digital revolution, proper links from the physical to the digital are becoming more important.
Customer expectations are changing as the world of technological possibilities is growing and banks and other providers are focussed on keeping up the pace in developing their digital channels. But, while the fintech revolution is marching on, it remains true that the demand for physical financial services is not going to disappear any time soon. The key in any channel strategy is therefore to carefully balance digital services with physical touchpoints that ensure people are given access to basic services wherever and whenever needed.
Enter the ATM, where in the UK we have a record network with over 70,000 machines in local communities. World-wide, the number of ATMs is also continuously increasing: while in 2005 The World Bank Group estimated that there were only around 16 ATMs per 100,000 adults, that figure rose to 41 ATMs within just 10 years.
A new partnership between independent ATM operator Cardtronics UK and a digital wallet provider illustrates the advantages of making use of an existing network of physical touchpoints to bridge the physical and the digital worlds. We were approached by innovative digital wallet start-up CashDash, which was looking for a partner with the necessary footprint and infrastructure to make sure its customers could access their funds whenever and wherever needed.
We worked with them to enable the withdrawal of cash from the CashDash digital wallet on 1,000 of our ATMs across London – a key location for CashDash as its service is aimed at foreign visitors who are looking to convert their funds digitally into British Pounds at an attractive exchange rate. The CashDash example makes the advantages of giving customers access to a physical ATM network clear: foreign visitors to the UK are looking for a reliable way to pay, without having to worry whether the next shop or restaurant will accept their cards or smartwatches. Enabling withdrawals of the digital funds in cash means flexibility and guaranteed acceptance wherever they go – and the necessary link to make the digital service practical and usable is established.