Contactless COVID Ready ATMs

Contactless COVID Ready ATMs

Contactless ATM

Now-a-days many of us avoid going to an ATM to evade any risk since the COVID-19 infection is threatening us all over. It is quite obvious that at an ATM kiosk, you end up touching various surfaces, starting from the door knob to the keypad or the ATM screen itself.

Banks are now realizing that the only true way to reassure people in this environment, apart from taking sanitizing measures, is to eliminate the need to touch the same ATM screen or keypad as others.  Here’s how banks are trying to make ATM kiosks safer for customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic and how the ATM industry is expected to evolve to meet your various needs.

Touchless Experience

  • Contactless cash withdrawals from ATMs may soon be a reality.
  • AGS Transact Technologies, a cash management services provider, has developed a prototype of a “touchless” cash withdrawal solution.
  • “Cardholders can now withdraw cash from an ATM machine by scanning a QR code on its screen without having to touch the surface.
  • Here, Banks are required to make only a software upgrade to enable this feature on their ATM network.
  • The bank’s customer can perform all the steps required to withdraw cash from an ATM using the mobile application, which includes entering the withdrawal amount and MPIN required to dispense the cash from the ATM machine.
  • ASG is in the process of implementing this contactless solution for some banks, and is in discussions with others.
  • Well before the pandemic hit, large banks like ICICI Bank and the State Bank of India had developed their own touchless withdrawal systems, but these have not been adapted to eliminate the need to engage with the ATM altogether.
  • In the post-covid era, initiatives like virtual banking are likely to become the new normal, said Goyal. More and more transactions are expected to become contactless and reliant on digital platforms.

Sanitizing for safety

  • Rules around social distancing and sanitization are now being strictly enforced to neutralize the risk of covid-19 transmission.
  • To quote an example, rules about only one person entering an ATM kiosk at a time were already in place, but they were not strictly followed everywhere.
  • In order to ensure necessary hygiene and safety, ATM sites are sanitized as part of the regular cleaning process, in some cases multiple times during a day, depending on the usage. This includes sanitizing the lobby, ATM keypads and door handles as per the information provided.
  • Let apart, it is learnt that safety measures are being considered at the time of cash loading operations. Here, checks would be made on
    • Daily temperature checks of employees,
    • Wearing mask which would be mandatory.
    • Regular Sanitization of Vehicles and offices
  • However, it is crucial to take your own precautions too as numerous people may transact at ATM kiosks in a day, especially in urban centres.

What is in Store?

  • In the days to come, customers can expect to see ATM terminals becoming more interactive and cater to customer services, apart from cash dispensation.
  • Also, ATMs would become an essential instrument for the delivery of government initiatives and services delivery.
  • This would obviously boost customer convenience through
    • Contactless services,
    • Interactive videos
    • Use machine learning and artificial intelligence to cross-sell products
    • Provide advisory and loans and
    • Entire branch banking service
  • Let apart, with digital payments becoming bigger and bigger, ATMs might assume other roles, resulting in a less cash economy,
  • With technological advancements, ATM machines have been empowered to offer various value-added services like mobile banking registrations, Aadhar seeding and collecting school fees, which will enhance customer convenience and also reduce load on the branches

However, experts feel that one area that still needs attention is the security of transactions which they feel that by leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, ATM technology may eventually solve problems of fraud as well as address customer dispute resolution.  Let us wait and see….

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