What the ATM of the Future Will Look Like

by Edward O'Brien 0

Commerce has become more high tech — think mobile payments, pin-and-chip credit cards and even fingerprint and retinal scanners — but we still haven’t lost our love for good old cash.

And banks aren’t ignoring that love, investing millions in some major upgrades in ATMs. Just last week, the largest consumer bank in the U.S. by assets, Chase Bank JPM, +0.64% announced plans for cash machines that customers can access with their mobile phones, without having to use any type of ATM card.

The majority of Chase’s 18,000 ATMs will have this feature by the end of 2016.

(The card-free feature is already available on ATMs for BMO Harris Bank, which has rolled the feature out to roughly 900 ATMs it owns, and Wintrust Bank, in Illinois).
And TechCrunch reported that Apple Pay could be on its way for ATMs at Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Bank of America declined to confirm that Apple Pay is coming soon to its ATMs, although the company is starting to roll out cardless ATM technology at the end of February, and Wells Fargo said that while the company will start to roll out technology in the second quarter of 2016 that will connect its ATMs to digital wallets, making 40% of their 13,000 ATMs NFC-enabled by the end of the year, the only wallet the ATMs support now is Android Pay, and they’ll “continue to evaluate additional wallets.”

The ever-evolving ATM continues onward, with new features being added regularly. Many of these features include cross-channel capabilities that increasingly include downloadable apps via mobile banking solutions. And, as has been noted in the Mercator Advisory Group 2015 ATM Market Benchmark Report, such innovations as ATM prestaging (also known as cardless cash access or mobile cash withdrawal) are being offered in select markets, with additional features on the horizon. Also noted in the report are expectations for future ATM technology to include an increased convergence of ATM and mobile banking, with the mobile device acting as an alternate screen for next-generation ATMs in some cases.

Overview by Ed O’Brien, Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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