ATM Industry Faces 2019

Advancements in technology are growing the functionality and capabilities of  c-store ATMs.

Changes in the ATM industry promise to affect retailers to a certain degree in 2019.
One potential area of change is local legislation.

The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) announced on Feb. 21, 2019 it’s backing the proposed ban on cashless retail businesses in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

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Cashless stores limit consumer payment choices and discriminate against people without bank accounts or credit cards, ATMIA has said. The organization reports that 45% of shoppers prefer using cash for retail purchases and add that in times of crisis, regardless of the cause, cash is often the only option. Examples for why cash access is vital include power system failures and problems with payment networks.

“The issue is far broader than the poor and unbanked segment of the economy pointed to by these legislative measures,” said David Tente, executive director of ATMIA USA.

“Cashless retail severely limits consumer payment choice and eliminates the favored payment method for 26% of the population, according to Federal Reserve numbers. And, industry data indicates that 45% of consumers prefer using cash for purchases in local retail establishments.”

Today’s ATMs can offer “branch in a box” functionality, delivering more than 90% of branch-based technology through an automated channel. That is ideal for today’s on-the-go consumer, said Bruce Renard, executive director of the National ATM Council Inc.

The National ATM Council recently joined with the ATMIA in an effort to end the ongoing “damaging impacts” of bank account closures and new account denials in the U.S. independent ATM market.

“Continuing advances in technology are allowing for major enhancements in the functionality and capabilities of today’s ATM terminals,” Renard said. “We have seen some financial institutions introduce ‘video teller’ ATMs. In addition to a live, real-time, two-way video chat between you and the remote video teller, these terminals have capabilities to scan your driver’s license, give change and provide access to banking services well beyond normal bank hours.”

He explained that these options are large, complex and costly with longer wait times, however.

C-store ATMs are experiencing a tech revolution of their own, with new capabilities to provide tracking/demographic information, and abilities to issue electronic gift cards and effectuate card-less transactions, Renard said.

In many parts of the country where cash is still king, everyday ATM services fit the bill.
Des Moines, Iowa-based Git N Go Convenience Stores chain, which has more than 40 locations in Iowa and Illinois, includes ATMs as a viable connection to its customers, who rely on their ATMs for ready cash.

William Baine, CEO of Git N Go Convenience Stores, said the c-store chain averages more than 1,500 transactions per month, per ATM.