Watching the progress of automated teller machine (ATM) capabilities through the years is like watching a child grow up: The kid starts out babbling and taking tiny baby steps and, over time, becomes this superb, skillful, agile performer.
“In the beginning—to not coin a phrase—ATMs were very limited devices aimed at a select group of customers and offering a limited amount of cash,” explains Daniel Theriault, corporate architect for Diebold, North Canton, Ohio. “Over the years, new features such as envelope deposit, followed by envelope-less deposits, member-set preferences, and network capabilities, have brought the machines a long way.
“Newest features,” Theriault continues, “include alternate ways to verify ID—thumbprints and fingerprints, retinal scans, challenge questions— and advanced transactions where credit union members can connect to the teller platform to perform functions such as wire transfers. The ATM walks them though the process with clear, explicit instructions.”
The member migration pattern to ATMs has been continuous, according to Brian Bailey, vice president of soft ware at NCR Corp., Duluth, Ga.
“The past five years have been an exciting time for the industry,” Bailey says. “We’ve learned there’s high consumer demand for features such as intelligent deposit technology, which allows consumers to bank 24/7. The resulting consumer migration rate is now 50% on ATMs compared with branch deposits.”
Soon, Bailey says, ATMs will feature interactive services that duplicate all of a teller’s functions: “The technology has exploded. Our goal now is to draw mobile and ATMs together. For example, mobile cash withdrawal—what we call the ‘omnichannel experience’—will allow mobile device users to prearrange cash withdrawals from their ATMs. Our beta beacon technology will allow credit union staff to identify members by name as they walk into a branch, or reserve a place in a teller line because of their status as a longtime member.”
The stage also has been set, says Bailey, for ATM cards with embedded Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chips that allow users to begin an ATM transaction simply by tapping their card on a special receptor in the machine. “There will be no need to input a PIN and no need to fear scanning devices rigged to steal card information,” Bailey says.
Diebold always has emphasized both protecting and enhancing the member experience, according to Theriault. “In fact, the member experience is everything,” he says. “That’s one reason why security is such a big issue. Security is such a concern we innovate technologies such as our ActivEdge card reader, which can thwart any known skimming technology. It works by having users insert the long side of their cards into the ATM.”
Credit unions must prioritize security, even if members don’t, according to Theriault. “From experience, we know 50% of members will leave a credit union that suffers a Target-type information breach,” he says. “Credit unions generally have plenty of competitors where members can turn. For this reason, credit unions must plan for how they will remedy a security breach.”
Theriault recalls one credit union that suffered a breach near Christmas last year and had to cancel all its members’ ATM cards. “But the credit union quickly took advantage of unique Diebold technology that allows members to use their ATMs without an ATM card, by inserting a form of ID and answering challenge questions,” he says.
What is a credit union’s response to the high-tech capabilities ATM manufacturers offer? “When we approach a credit union and demonstrate all of current ATMs’ capabilities, a typical response is simple amazement,” Theriault says. “It helps that we’ve designed our soft ware so it can operate on any ‘box,’ whether the ATM is ours or not. We also know how and where to install speed bumps. Sometimes it’s better to go slow when the situation calls for it.”
Diebold’s shared branching feature oft en elicit s a “gee whiz” response from credit unions, Theriault says. Members whose credit unions participate in a co-op arrangement can access accounts or subaccounts at other credit unions.
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