News & Views - Savantor

The future of ATM’s?

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Several innovations related to ATM’s caught the eye this week – one of which sounds like an early April Fool if it wasn’t for the fact that Apple are behind it. The first was a new departure for video usage in the new NCR devices. It shows a woman’s eyes staring at you with a message from HMRC “We’re closing in on undeclared income”. The woman’s eyes then look left and right as though scanning the street and the message changes to “If you’ve declared all your income you have nothing to worry about” followed by “Please insert your card”. Now if that isn’t guaranteed to make you feel guilty I don’t know what is. I’m not sure that those with current accounts are necessarily the right targets for this but maybe that’s naïve. Anyway perhaps it’s a sign of the times with Big Brother closing in.

The second item features Apple which has filed a US patent application for an "ad-hoc cash-dispensing network" which lets people who need cash but cannot find an ATM send out an SOS through their iPhone to find people nearby who are willing to lend them the money. If a user needs to obtain cash, they can send out a request through their iPhone or iPad, providing details of how much they want to borrow and their location, via GPS. The request is delivered to anyone in the same location who is signed up to the service and if a willing lender is found, a time and place to meet and hand over the cash is arranged.

It’s hard to believe that ATM availability is so bad in the US that this is necessary or indeed wanted by anyone outside of the Apple development lab. It sounds like either a good way to launder money or get mugged for your cash. Either way given the current popularity of Samsung’s latest phone perhaps Apple should focus on their core market and leave cash dispensing alone.

There is also a development by Turkey’s Is Bank to get rid of the need to insert a card and PIN. This idea enables customers to set up a withdrawal through their handset and then complete it by scanning a QR code onto the screen. Nationwide have also declared the success of their ATM favourites function which means customers will be presented with their most used transactions automatically once they have entered their PIN aiming to speed up waiting time.

So despite the fact that the industry wants to get rid of cash it still seems like a productive area for

development.

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