The ATM Turns 50: Consumers Demand Innovative, User-Friendly ATM Services with Better, More Secure Ways of Authentication

As the ATM celebrates its 50th anniversary a fashion makeover is high on the wish list of consumers worldwide. According to a global online poll of 8000 consumers conducted by YouGov on behalf of ACI Worldwide, easier, intuitive and more secure ways of accessing their bank accounts are a priority for users worldwide: 29 percent of UK consumers, 31 percent in France, 38 percent in Spain and 43 percent in Italy would like to see ATMs to offer better and more secure ways of authentication. Other services consumers would like to see from ATMs include better and more detailed information about their account such as mini-statements, alerts for upcoming payments or overdraft fees, the ability to dispense a new credit or debit card, or to access electronically signed official documents.

Lu Zurawski, Consumer Payments Lead EMEA, ACI Worldwide comments:

“Consumers today have become used to tapping their mobile phones or swiping ipads to access their bank accounts or simply ‘waving’ a contactless card over a card reader to make a payment. Many of them want to use ATMs in a similar fashion. Using a phone to access an ATM is already a reality, hinting at a future where ATMs may be cardless. Many banks are also experimenting with new technologies that use alternatives to traditional PIN-based authentication.

“I don’t see the ATMs heading for retirement any time soon. As well as being ubiquitous and simple to use, some people prefer hard cash as a deliberate way of controlling their spending. It shouldn’t be a surprise that ATMs remain so popular – they’re an incredibly successful piece of social technology. The trend towards regional bank branch closures may put an even greater emphasis on the role of the ATM, including services beyond simple cash withdrawal.”

The ATM remains relevant, but usage varies depending on the country: Germany leads the way with 48 percent of respondents using ATMs just as much as they always have, despite widespread availability of new digital forms of payments; this is followed by Spain at 47 percent, the U.K at 42 percent, France and Italy at 40 percent, the U.S. at 34 percent and Hungary at 29 percent.

34 percent of consumers in Hungary use ATMs a lot less now than they used to—followed by the U.S. at 23 percent.

Despite the widespread availability of new digital forms of payments, 42% of British consumers said they use ATMs just as much as they always have. 48 percent of respondents in Germany, 47 percent in Spain and 40 percent in France also said that their use of ATMs had not changed in recent years.

Lu Zurawski comments:

“Although Consumers today are using more cards and apps, enduring customer behaviours and the ubiquity of cash will secure the role of the ATM as a cash machine for decades to come. The role of ATMs will continue to expand beyond cash too, so I believe the ATM has got a long and innovative life ahead.”