Branch transformation has been a trending topic for quite some time, and the discussion has historically involved reaching a young, technology-savvy demographic, providing operational efficiencies, and increasing revenue. But branch transformation, at its core, is about serving one major purpose: improving the overall customer experience. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) are playing a huge role in driving this new focus on the customer experience. With that in mind, Convergint and its partner Axis Communications decided to take a closer look at how security and safety can also play a role in improving the overall customer experience for financial institutions.
2018 marked 51 years since the introduction of the ATM. Since their invention a half-century ago, ATMs have become firmly established as part of everyday life, providing not only access to cash, but an entire range of banking and financial services.
It is clear that the ATM will continue to be of ever-increasing importance to the overall relationship between a financial institution and its customers, and an essential part of a positive customer experience. This was highlighted in the ATM Benchmarking Study 2016 from Accenture and the ATM Industry Association: “The ATM channel is still maintaining its central role as a core banking touchpoint with the consumer and has become an integral part of the banking omni-channel experience.”
How often do you make cash withdrawals from an ATM?
At least once a week
Once every two weeks
Once a month
Less than once a month
ATMs are still regarded as an important mechanism for accessing banking services, such as obtaining a customer’s money. But when three-quarters of people are worried about making cash withdrawals from ATMs, it is clear that banks, retailers, and other providers of ATMs are failing to implement measures that will build customer confidence.
Sadly, wherever there is cash and access to banking systems, those with criminal intent are not far away. Whether it is a physical attack on the ATM itself in an effort to steal the money contained within, or criminals using stolen cards and details to access cash directly from a customer’s bank account, crimes involving ATMs are on the rise. But for users of ATMs, the most obvious type of crime is being threatened or even attacked by petty criminals aiming to steal the money just withdrawn.
Have you during the last year been scared that you would be robbed after making a cash withdrawal?
Yes, several times
It is this aspect of ATM security that research has explored. Addressing six countries across the globe—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, China, and Colombia—Axis Communications surveyed more than 6,000 consumers regarding their perspectives on ATM safety and what might make them feel safer when using an ATM. Global Consumer Perspectives on ATM Safety examines the survey’s findings and highlights the solutions that will ensure customer confidence in using ATMs and ultimately help the overall customer experience.
An integrated set of security and safety measures is clearly the most effective solution. Improved lighting has some benefits, and signage can help at a superficial level. However, video surveillance both around and embedded in the ATM is most likely to make customers feel safer in using the ATM without negatively impacting their perceptions of privacy. It will also act as a more effective deterrent to potential criminals. Should criminal activity take place, video surveillance can enable an immediate response, potentially stopping the crime taking place, or at the very least aiding in any subsequent investigation.
Do you think video surveillance could prevent acts of crime in connection with ATMs?
Security and safety measures build customer confidence, which ultimately leads to a better overall customer experience. By investing in security and safety technology, retail banks can reach their impact goals and pay dividends now and in the future.