14 June 2017
ATM & Cash Innovation - Day 1
This week we find ourselves attending ATMIAS’s ATM & Cash Innovation Europe 2017 Conference in London. This event will cover innovation in relation to ATMs, cash, self-service, branch transformation and multi-channel customer service. It is also the official industry event in Europe commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ATM and the 20th ATMIA anniversary, while looking forward to an innovative future for our industry.
So with expectations set suitably high and having already experienced the sister event in North America, let’s see how the messages are delivered, as well as received, in Europe.
Happy to report there was a healthy looking crowd following last night’s celebrations at the ATMIA Gala Dinner and Awards. Congratulations to all the winners!
And now to the official start …
Welcomes, housekeeping and opening remarks completed and the conference kicked off in earnest with the guest speaker, Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC, asking Innovation - whatever’s next? Some interesting insight into tech innovation both past and present and while not specific to the ATM and payments, the point remains – whatever we do, the public need to be ready for the change and it needs to be a frictionless customer friendly user experience.
Keynote addresses came from NCR and Cardtronics. Bill Nuti of NCR discussed how the ATM is at the forefront of digital transformation, saying, “Technology has become part of the experience and customer behaviour remains disruptive”.
So… innovation needs to be the centre of every business to survive and NCR were very keen to stress that data was key and using data to enable better decisions. While very true, the human element cannot be ignored as that input will be what is making the ultimate decision.
Steve Rathgaber of Cardtronics looked at the expanding role of Independent ATM deployers, how they have delivered convenience for cardholders and how they’re focusing more on new opportunities. For Steve the key is how to “Create and deliver the customer experience and make management of a customer financial life easier”.
Walking around the exhibition hall, there is certainly a focus on hardware enablement i.e. how do you turn the tin into an integrated channel that enhances (or maybe compliments) changing customer experiences?
All back in the room now ready to hear from Andy Mattes, Diebold Nixdorf, presenting on Connected Commerce & The Seamless Consumer Experience. In the connected and increasing demanding world what are consumers looking for? Digitisation and interaction are the key words. How do users connect through devices and mediums that are seamless to their day to day lives and how does the industry make this technology as cost effective and nimble as possible? I think it’s pretty clear to say that there are changes already happening, but no one seems to be gambling on exactly which future will become the reality.
Next up is Julian Arnold of HSBC. Stream Video Teller Machine is the topic, based upon HSBC launching VTMs into Hong Kong. Is this a fad or will we see the rise of the VTM? Listening to the experiences that HSBC has had throughout its 2 year journey to launch them it’s clear that growing market share in specific region was the goal. The technology was a solution, it was the driver behind the project. VTM was selected based upon detailed customer requirement analysis. Nice to see the customer at the heart rather than technology searching for a use case. Another interesting development was that the process looked and felt like a digital initiative and not like a traditional self-service / ATM development. That level of thinking further emphasises the need to work differently and in collaboration with all internal and external customers to deliver on customer requirements. Excellent work HSBC.
Leading us into lunch is Professor Friedrich Schneider from Johannes Kepler University who articulated the financial flows of transnational crime and tax fraud. It’s clear that cash is a tool used in the shadow economy, some of the studies shown really highlight this, but interestingly in a survey undertaken, respondents said if cash was abolished they would still demand goods and a large number also said they would find an unidentifiable method for paying for them. This just further describes the resourcefulness of humanity and also the extents that will be sought to achieve their goal in the manner they want to.
Very interesting first morning with some excellent insights. Let’s hope that some of them come to fruition. Now it’s time to eat, refresh and explore more of the exhibition hall before we get back to the presentations.
A panel kicks us back into life for the next sessions with Mike Lee (ATMIA), Tom Harper (ATMIA) and James Shepherd-Barron (International Consultant and son of John Shepherd-Barron, the inventor of the ATM). Here to celebrate 50 years of ATMs in the UK and looking ahead to the next 50 years. Does the ATM have a place in 2067? The nostalgia was in full flow during the session with numerous stories about the life of the ATM over the past 50 years. The key message though “Is the ATM is about to reinvent itself ?” Probably, but it is clear from the discussion that it will need collaboration between Vendors, Acquirers and Processers – something that is easier said than done!
Next up is Santander (Antonio Encinar, Head of ATM Channel). How is the ATM channel used for bringing value to the Santander Bank? There are 3 main goals for Santander
- Efficiency – can transactions be moved from inside the branch to the ATM? Antonio certainly believed they can but it does require buy in from branch employee to push users in that direction.
- Revenue – E2E sales from the ATM should be encouraged, or so Santander say. They have made it measurable and can see customer uptake.
- User experience – Santander have looked at the whole customer process reducing unnecessary screens, implemented biometrics and are looking to adopt NFC.
Santander appear to have a clear, coherent plan of what ATMs mean to the bank stressing the need to engage with both staff and customers to understand needs and drive forward change.
So I hear you all ask “The European Commission and Bank of England’s perspectives on the future of cash?” Well we found out from Ruediger Voss and Victoria Cleland. Cash has come under pressure through alternative payment means and a more general debate on whether to reduce the use of cash. There is life in the old dog yet (85% of worldwide payments are in cash) as issue of cash is constantly growing. The trend – there is a future for cash, albeit slightly diminishing. Why? People still rely on and value it.
For the next session it’s our very own James Roberts who was joined by Chris Winter of Discover Financial Services to discuss the shared experience of globalising an ATM network. This confirms that in a global world, access to ATMs via the connectivity of schemes will become increasingly more important in providing customers with a seamless user experience and ATM acquirers a valuable new revenue stream.
Closing in on the evening drinks with just one presentation to go, Mike Foster of KAL presented on delivering banking services to more people in more places. With social inclusion a hot topic and having been informed at Fintech North earlier this year that we have a social responsibility to innovate to help consumers first and foremost ; it’s interesting to see KAL looking to deploy “ATM-like” hardware in places where FIs typically cannot get access to – certainly an interesting proposition, best of luck to them.
And there it is, end of day 1. Time to grab a drink and do some networking. It’s been a good mix of case studies, real experiences and visions for the future from a mixture of industry professionals. It’s fair to say that there has been some focus on company capabilities rather than pure insights. Whilst that’s to be expected, some are more obvious than others. Day 2 promises more of the same and we will certainly be back, tweeting and blogging from the sessions, so look out for our updates.