Linking the digital revolution in financial services via ATMs (Part 2)

Not only for tourists, but for all UK consumers, cash continues to be the most important payment method.

Linking the digital revolution in financial services via ATMs (Part 2)

The latest data from UK Finance found that consumers and businesses spent £240 billion pounds’ worth of cash through 15.4 billion payments in 2016. This is 25%, or 3.8 billion, more payments than the second most frequently used payment method – debit cards. What’s more, 79% of payments in UK local shops are made in cash, showing the significance of a ready physical cash supply in UK communities for consumers and businesses alike. Recognising the ongoing necessity of a steady cash supply to local communities will clearly be a vital pillar in any successful financial services strategy for years to come.

For the world of financial institutions in the UK, the question of which physical services should remain a key pillar of their channel strategy is of particular importance as their established physical branch networks are currently undergoing one of the greatest shake-ups in their history: according to data consultancy CACI, only 10,000 bank branches remained in the UK in 2016, with that number expected to half within the next 10 years. While the average person is predicted to visit their local bank branch only 4 times by 2022, overall customer interaction with banks will increase 54% over the same period of time. This is down to the convenience of automated services, particularly app-based transactions, which are predicted to rise 121% by 2022.   

While branch networks need to be reduced, using the established networks of specialist technology providers can be an efficient way for banks to make sure their customers still have access to the local touchpoints they demand. In particular, the increasing use of smartphones, and continued reliance upon cash will increase demand for digital-to-cash and cash-to-digital functionality on ATMs such as we can see in the example of the partnership between CashDash and Cardtronics.

Using the ATM as the link to the digital future of financial services means great potential for innovation within the fintech industry – and the guarantee that innovations are practical and can be implemented. As customers’ digital convenience expectations rise, it will be partnerships between innovators, established FIs and specialist ATM providers that link to the future of financial service and make sure the worlds of digital and physical remain in balance.