15 February 2017
ATMIA US Conference - Day 1
Greetings from ATMIA’s US conference in Orlando. This year ATMIA is taking place from the 14th to 16th February and has attracted attendees from the entire spectrum of ATM processing, including hardware & software suppliers, Independent ATM Deployers, Financial Institutions, ATM maintenance providers and network processors.
This will be the first time VocaLink will be attending the US-based ATMIA conference having been sponsors of the European event for many years. What was striking from the start is that ATMIA USA is much more informal than its European counterpart with plenty of open collar shirts and a vibe similar to much smaller tech conferences.
As the ATM is celebrating 50 years of service in the financial and self service industries, the theme for this year’s conference is: “ATMs: 50 Years of Innovation with a Big Future Ahead”, covering a number of topics from “Technology and Innovation”, “Regulation and Compliance” and “Payments and Deposits”.
Day 1 consisted of a number of workshops that aimed to provide in-depth insight on a number of topics.
My morning workshop included representation from Bank of America and Glory Global Solutions, focusing on the long term future of cash in retail business.
The talk was mainly aimed at ATM deployers with the conversation concentrating on how the broader retail cash management sector can help to grow ATM providers’ scope by deploying cash recyclers and smart safes. Michael Hudson of MF Hudson associates stating “automating cash management will save retailers money but not necessarily enough to make the investment worthwhile.” therefore; the key question is how we, as the ATM industry, can make cash recyclers cost effective.
Bank of America were keen to highlight that cash is still the most used payment method in the US and are advocates of better cash management for retailers. Acutely aware that uptake is always the biggest stumbling block, it is good to see they are looking to putting cash recycle technology into branches in order to increase user acceptance before looking to roll out into the wider market.
The afternoon session took a more technical twist and concentrated on ATM software and in particular the future of ATM operation systems. The panel was led by Eric de Putter, from Payment Redesign and had representation from Citibank, FIS and Triton.
The workshop started generically on the need to upgrade operating systems but then swiftly moved on to Alternative Solutions such as Windows 10 or Android.
The conversation outlined the various differences between potential operating systems, the general theme being that irrespective of the operating system used, the business case needs to stack up for the ATM deployer. How the change will fit in with their current architecture and making sure they are ready ahead of any deadlines.
The panellists then turned their attention to the future of ATMs, with Eric de Putter looking at the potential of cloud-based ATMs under a theme of “if other industries are doing it why cannot we”. The concept of keeping the cash dispensing logic of the ATM and adding a tablet user interface is intriguing and is definitely something the industry should consider, as this could address issues of the past such as speed of change. However as Eric highlighted; the time, cost and effort of change will certainly be a barrier to adoption and would need co-operation from the whole industry to implement.
The last event of the day was a town hall on the future of ATMs with speakers from ATMIA, Triton, Payment Redesign, PAI and Citibank sharing their thoughts, data and ideas on the future of the industry. For some it was about the hardware, the software, regulation and new features. For Peter Kulik however, who has a senior role at Citibank, the future will be shaped, as always, by customer experience. “Looking at how the customer wants to interact with our channel and how we can improve and keep relevant is key”.
Away from the workshops and town hall, nearly 100 companies are exhibiting their latest concepts and products so it will take a lot to stand out from the crowd and be memorable. A late afternoon walk round the exhibition hall confirmed this and I will definitely need to investigate in more detail tomorrow.
Please return tomorrow for more updates from ATMIA.