The Future of Self-Service Banking

The ATM experience has for the most part gone unchanged since the first ATMs were introduced in the 1970’s and rolled out widely in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  While the technology inside the machines has changed as technology has improved, the experience around using the ATM has largely gone unchanged.  You wait in line behind other people, there is a lack of privacy, and you often feel rushed in completing your transaction.

IDEO, a firm centered around human design, took a look at the automated banking experience with the Spanish Bank BBVA.  The goal was to make the experience more personal, and humanized.  One thing IDEO does really well is observe current human behavior, and recommend a new way of doing things to improve the process.  Looking at current ATM customers, IDEO developed a new prototype ATM based on what they learned.

The design is centered around  core concepts:

Privacy: The ATMs have been rotated, to provide the customer with more privacy as the line for the ATM is to the side of the customer, vs directly behind them.

Simplicity: One slot for cash and receipts helps eliminate confusion.  I am guessing the checks would go in here as well.  The system also uses touch screen technology, which ties into the design elements of todays smartphone’s and tablets, so customers would feel comfortable about using the system.

Personalization: The system recognizes the user, and allows them to choose from their most common ATM transactions.  It also visually shows them on one screen the most relevent information (Accounts, balances, etc).

Tangibility: All of the transactions are visualized – with the transition of virtual and reality being very seamless.  This transition, in my opinion, would make a customer very comfortable when banking at a machine, as they could almost feel the transaction happening in real-time.

Delight: All of this combined could help create a very humanized approach to automated banking – maybe even a little entertaining.

Overall – I like the concept.  I agree it would work best in an inside environment, and may require much more of an investment for walk up ATMs outside of a branch.  Overall though, I would feel more comfortable with this type of banking experience, especially when making deposits or more complex banking transactions.

Fast Company also profiled a bank of the future in Brazil, with innovative features like the ATMs listed above and touchscreen surface tables.  It looks like the future is today.

What do you think?

Chris Lovett

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