The traditional payments industry is on the brink of great change. While cash transactions in the United States are declining, debit card transactions are growing, according to a forecast by the Federal Reserve and BI Intelligence.
Some analysts look at the cashless trend and take it a step further. They believe that mobile payments will make ATMs almost obsolete. Not so fast! Nearly 63 percent of U.S. consumers in 2014 have not yet used their mobile phones to make a purchase.
Cash is king. ATMs are relevant and evolving.
The ATM channel is becoming the foundation for an increasing number of interactions between banks and their customers, according to Ed O’Brien, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Banking Channels Advisory Service and author of the 2014 ATM Market Benchmark Report.
Additionally, there is a growing trend to acquire surcharge-free ATMs, as evidenced by Fresh & Easy’s recent deal with Cardtronics Inc. Through this agreement, Cardtronics will install and operate an additional 165 ATMs in Fresh & Easy stores. These machines are part of Cardtronics’ Allpoint Network, the largest surcharge-free network in the U.S., according to the company.
Inspect and Secure Your Machines
While an ATM is an attractive service for your customers, it may invite criminal activity.
Unfortunately, ATM machines are targets of physical attack, fraud, and software and network attacks. You may have to rely on your ATM provider to handle software and network inspections, but as a retailer, you can take steps to ensure your machines’ physical safety.
Develop a process to conduct visual inspections of your ATMs. You’ll want to look out for the following security risks:
- Card readers are vulnerable to the placement of skimming devices.
- ATM is vulnerable to PIN attacks from a pinhole camera or PIN-pad overlays.
- The ATM is not protected against unauthorized access to its cabinet and other areas.
- Outdoor ATM is not well lit or has obstructions such as shrubbery or garbage cans.
- The ATM’s alarm is not triggered with removal or unauthorized access.
- Employees have not been trained on ATM security guidelines.
Be sure to work with your ATM provider to secure machines and prevent tampering.
In the age of identity theft, no one wants to use an ATM that appears outdated or neglected. Perform regularly ATM inspections ensures that they are clean, operating and safe for customers.
Taking these precautions will lead to increased usage and have a positive brand impact.
Provide a safe and convenient experience, and customers will keep your store in mind the next time they need cash.