Mercator Blog

ATMs Are Clearly a Big Deal: Observations from PayThink (formerly the ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum)
Date: October 31, 2014
Ed O'Brien
Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service


The ATM was prominently featured at the recent PayThink conference, previously known as the ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum, held in Phoenix. In addition to many discussions about payments innovation, with much focus on the effect Apple Pay may have on the industry, were informative presentations on branch transformation, EMV, improving the customer experience, and the growing influence of ATMs on banking strategy.

I had the good fortune to moderate a panel of knowledgeable and engaging industry executives who shared their thoughts about the future of the ATM. To see a summary of the panel’s key points, view the article “The ATM Industry: Bound for … where?” published on the homepage of ATM Marketplace.

The presentations from the panelists, various keynote speakers, and breakout sessions reinforced the challenges—and exciting opportunities—ahead for the industry. Among the topics were disruptive innovation in banking and payments, branch reconfiguration, enhancing the banking customer experience, and how technology will revolutionize ATMs.

Central to several of the presentations were discussions of increased collaboration between the ATM channel and mobile banking, as well as the increase in ATM transactions that were formerly handled solely within bank branches. These discussions reinforce the point that ATMs are progressing beyond simple withdrawals and deposits toward more complex banking activities.

The time is right to rely more on ATMs as financial institutions continue to search for ways to leverage their self-service channels to handle more numerous and more complex transactions at the same time that many are also reducing the number and types of branches they operate in their markets. Leveraging process efficiencies and customer-friendly technological improvements, the ATM is poised to be a channel that delivers efficiencies, effectiveness, and an outstanding customer experience—attributes that are critical for increased revenues and profitable growth.