Blog: An Earth-Day Top 10 List for Your ATMs: How to Operate Your Self-Service Channel the Responsible Way

April 22, 2020  |  DIEBOLD NIXDORF

Happy Earth Day! Today, we recognize sustainability and environmental protection efforts around the world. In fact, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and it’s a unique situation that we see the world in right now. The reality is that not everyone is able to focus on sustainability during this difficult health crisis. Many traditional Earth Day celebrations – campus and community clean-ups, tree planting, and coming together to volunteer in other ways – may not be possible this year. But the current health crisis does not make it impossible to do your part and celebrate a more eco-friendly tomorrow. This Earth Day can still be celebrated through making greener choices and also taking a more digitally-focused approach by sharing your voice and promoting sustainability online through social media. We can all still help make Earth Day part of the global conversation. 

A number of businesses have been looking to do their part to become more eco-friendly and ultimately more efficient for a number of years. We see major examples of this across many industries and in products we use every day, such as the car we drive, clothes we wear, and the food we eat. And more recently, we have also seen precautions taken to help protect end-users’ and staff’s health during this historic pandemic – specifically, financial institutions enabling consumers to rely more on digital channels and the ATM to fulfill banking needs, rather than physically visiting the branch.

Our typically fast interaction with any one individual ATM doesn’t usually make us think about ways we can improve the environmental impact of performing an ATM transaction - but consider thousands of transactions across a whole fleet of ATMs each day. Then think about how there are over three million ATMs worldwide. Operating that many self-service terminals more efficiently would lead to huge benefits and the potential environmental impact that can have.

So, let’s take a look at 10 ways you can evolve your ATM fleet to be more sustainable and efficient:
1. Energy Usage
An ATM is designed to never be turned off; they’re always in operation and ready to serve. Operating 24/7, 365 days of the year can really add up. Newer ATMs use technology that requires less energy through the use of LEDs, ambient light sensing, and more efficient modules with smarter power supplies and electronics. All of this allows the ATM to maintain a lower operating and idle power consumption. For example, DN Series ATMs use up to 40%-57% less power per year, compared to older ATMs. Considering the cost per kWh is around $ 0.10 across the US and is even higher in Europe, this can make a major impact on the operations for large ATM fleets.

2. Larger Cash Capacity
In high-volume locations, ATMs can run out of cash quickly or fill up with cash and check deposits just as fast. This is compounded during peak hours, such as on Friday paydays or holidays. This requires cash-in-transit trucks and personnel (CIT) to visit and refill, or empty the cash at the ATM. Having larger cassettes that can hold and store more cash can help reduce the number of CIT visits, reducing the overall number of trucks on the road, and keeping the ATM in operation longer. DN Series ATMs offer up to 2x the cash capacity versus other manufacturers – saving almost 225kg in carbon emissions and up to 40% in CIT stops each year.

3. Cash Recycling
Cash recycling can also drastically reduce the number of CIT visits. Combine this with DN Series’ larger cash capacity and it becomes a powerful combination to lessening the number of CIT trucks that get dispatched. While every situation is unique, DN has seen customers typically achieve 20%-50% reduction in CIT visits when recycling is implemented at the self-service channel, and up to 75% in certain cases. Overall, having less CIT stops reduces the number of individuals who are touching the machine while maintaining critical social distancing precautions as prescribed today.

4. Direct One-to-One Marketing
Utilizing the self-service channel with marketing campaigns and advertisements is a great way to extend its reach and bring more value. Replacing direct mail or paper-based campaigns with digital ones delivered at the self-service channel can have significant cost savings through a reduction in postage and printing services. Not to mention all the trees which are saved in the process.

5. eReceipts
Speaking of saving trees, getting rid of that receipt paper that eventually finds its way to the bottom of a purse or discarded onto the sidewalk, can help too. Opting for electronic receipts through email or SMS can greatly reduce the number of paper receipts. If half of consumers who visited the ATM opted for a digital receipt, it could mean saving almost two miles worth of receipt paper at one ATM in just one year. This is also a great digital initiative to help improve operations and cater to younger consumers. Saving all that receipt paper pays you back too, with savings of up to $100 per ATM per year. Knowing some consumers still prefer receipts, DN takes every step to ensure the impact is minimized by partnering with suppliers that manufacturer receipt paper in more sustainable ways.

6. Mobile Cash Access
Keeping with the theme of digitization, look to implement mobile cash access through pre-staging transactions. This allows consumers to start the banking experience digitally through the mobile app on their smartphone and finish it at the ATM. Doing so eliminates the need for non-recyclable plastic cards that end up in the trash never to be reused, and provides a seamless omnichannel journey. Furthermore, easy tap-and-go functionality through NFC on your mobile phone allows for less interaction with public surfaces, maintaining good hygiene and potentially reducing end-users’ risk.

7. Advanced Transaction Capabilities
Building a whole new branch is a huge investment to serve consumers in a particular area. This also entails construction, which can disrupt wildlife habitats and create more pollution. Opting for a smaller, more efficient option like an ATM with advanced transaction capabilities could be a smarter alternative. ATMs equipped with full cash recycling, alternative authentication, coin deposit and dispense, video teller capabilities and other services can bring an in-branch digital and human experience to a space you never thought was possible. This is all done at a much lower environmental impact and investment cost. Not to mention it can still serve as a pillar of financial access in the community that will still be open during a natural disaster or a health crisis like the one we find ourselves in today.

8. Remote Diagnostics, Service and Monitoring Capabilities
Traditionally, when something goes wrong at the ATM, such as a jammed note, or mechanical failure, a service technician and vehicle gets dispatched to the ATM to fix it. The technician is generally only aware of what is wrong with the ATM based on a description. So fixing the machine may take a few hours on the first visit. Or it may take several or more days depending on the severity and parts available. We engineered DN AllConnectâ„  Data Engine to operate with a smarter service model, so technicians are able to view machine status and health to possibly fix the ATM remotely through a reboot or software push, without ever sending a technician.

9. Extend the lifecycle through upgrades
Replacing ATMs is not always an option. Sometimes upgrades are needed instead. It’s critical to have an ATM that was designed and engineered to be scalable and modular, so new components and features can be added easily. DN Series ATMs do just that, with the ability to upgrade from a cash dispenser to recycler. You can completely update the fascia in the same compact footprint. Lengthening the lifecycle of the ATM reduces overall waste and disposal, while increasing efficiency and enhancing the consumer experience.

10. Impact after its Useful Life
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, including the useful life of an ATM. New ATMs, like DN Series, that are made of more recycled or recyclable materials than previous generations, allow for the environmental footprint to be reduced, recycled, and possibly someday reused into something new again. In fact, DN’s global recycling program has been able to recycle more than 60,000 ATMs over the last five years.

Working with the right partner makes all the difference. DN has continued to incorporate environmentally conscious actions for a number of years, through its supply chain, manufacturing and engineering. Through investment in our solutions, we continually strive to lessen our impact on the environment while making our customers’ operations more efficient, and maintaining an appropriate level of health standards for all who interact with them. Visit to take the first step in operating your self-service channel in a more responsible, sustainable and healthy way.

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