Cash Recycling

Blog: The Future of the Self-Service Channel: Differentiating for Growth while Maximizing Effectiveness

June 13, 2022  |  JUERGEN KISTERS

Cash has proven resilient during the pandemic, despite the growing interest in digital payments. After an initial decrease of cash usage during the pandemic, we see that the trend is reversing and that the amount of cash being circulated through ATMs across the world is actually going up in aggregate1. As such, cash will likely remain a mainstay as a form of payment around the globe and providing access to cash remains one of the main responsibilities of banks—irrespective of whether in a cash heavy or cash light society. Consequently, efficient cash management should be a key topic for any FI in the future. 
But there is change in the air: Financial institutions (FIs) are also faced with the challenge of creating a self-service experience that is integrated seamlessly into an omnichannel journey. It must simultaneously be as engaging as possible, and as effective as possible, as the pressure to both reduce costs and provide easier and lower-touch interactions has only gotten stronger over the last few years. 

Here are 3 steps to take to move your self-service fleet to the future.

1. Consider the ATM not just “in the branch” but also “as the branch”

FIs continue to expand or right-size their branch footprint while implementing the best possible experience for their consumers. However, branch transformation is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; banks that overreact and close branches too aggressively could risk losing the one competitive advantage they have over digital-only banks. In locations where a branch just doesn’t make sense anymore, an ATM can take its place instead as convergence point between the physical and digital world. With interactive video teller capabilities enabled, it can continue to provide the human touch consumers expect.

Multifunctional ATMs can perform almost every transaction that is currently conducted with a teller. Depending on where and how they are installed, banking services can be made available 24/7, unrelated to branch hours. A conveniently placed off-site ATM is becoming the go-to channel for physical fulfillment; they make up by far the most common form of deployment, with more than half of ATMs worldwide installed off-site in 20202. With new capabilities, open APIs and flexibility that far exceeds legacy infrastructure, modern ATMs can enable FIs to leapfrog over the limitations that have hampered their modernization efforts in the past.

The shift toward digital continues to happen at lightning speed. Change must occur to meet the requirements of more digital-oriented consumers and compete with other digital-only competitors.

2. Take a fresh look at your self-service fleet

Apart from migrating traditional bank transactions to the self-service channel, one should also consider taking a different view of the ATM entirely: instead of viewing it as a cash machine or a cost factor, look at it as an additional sales channel that can help generate more revenue. If used as a marketing channel, an ATM consumer session presents a perfect opportunity to get more ‘eyeballs’ on important and relevant offers and information; you have the perfect captive audience whilst they are conducting their transactions.

Modern ATMs are equipped to run advanced, revenue generating transactions. Some examples could be dynamic currency conversion, sign-up for loans and other banking products, ‘buy now pay later’ capabilities and as an advertising channel. 

3. Optimize the operating model of the ATM fleet

Running the ATM channel optimally, providing a compelling user experience and seizing the true opportunity it represents, comes with a high degree of complexity. It requires mastery, knowledge, and operational excellence in 12 pillars, and it is generally not an FI’s core expertise. Each pillar is a domain that requires a dedicated set of resource capacity, expertise, and sophisticated tools. Not to mention, there are associated significant costs. Often, FIs focus their resources on a few pillars they feel are most important, while accepting that they won’t be in full control—they simply won’t be able to optimize every single pillar, which means they won’t be able to strike the balance between resources invested and the return on that investment. It’s a strategy that leads to unnecessary risk as well as missed opportunities.

Hence, more and more FIs have gradually concluded that outsourcing more tasks required to manage their ATM channel will deliver value and a return on investment. 

Some choose to outsource specific domains, they have the least expertise in, available human capital, technological capabilities, or even strategic/operational “interest”. A growing industry trend is that many FIs are now considering outsourcing the complete end-to-end management of their ATM channel. They benefit from a fully customized, secure, and compliant self-service channel end-to-end solution, access economies of scale and fast-track innovation with one trusted service provider as single point of contact and without operational burden. 

Put together: innovative technology is the key enabler of the ongoing self-service transformation 

Be it driving growth or reducing costs, modern technology enables FIs to transform their operations while fulfilling their consumers’ needs for innovation, security, and flexibility. Together with advanced software that enables more complex functionalities, and service support that alleviates the growing complexity of self-service fleets, a modern ATM channel is a key component for this transformation. Cloud and API-readiness as well as a scalable platform for more flexibility are essential to move the self-service channel into the future. We can help you: Our DN Series™ ATMs are equipped to fulfill the needs of FIs and their consumers, now and in the future. It was purposely designed and built as a best-in-class, IoT-connected device to be more efficient, more available, and more future-ready.

Why hesitate? Start the transformation of your self-service channel to excite your customers with the seamless journeys they expect at the ATM. Learn more at DieboldNixdorf.com/DNseries.


1RBR 2021, Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2026.
2RBR 2021, Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2026.

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