We are living in the era of digital transformation, with more and more businesses searching for ways to adapt by offering digital solutions and leveraging the new technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have accelerated this trend, with digital channels often consisting the sole means of communication and transaction between customers and businesses.
A new landscape for banks
Many organizations have been facing these challenges for more than a year now, as current conditions demand for digital solutions that ensure an end-to-end customer experience. Banks have had an additional challenge: the introduction of a new breed of financial institutions, which are digital-only and apply a whole new model of business. Despite the massive move to digital channels, human interaction remains very important both for the customers and for businesses; more so for banks, who can use it as their competitive advantage over digital-only players. To build on this advantage, banks have been adopting alternative designs and layouts for their branches, redefining both the purpose they serve and the way they provide services to customers.
The evolving role of the ATM
An indicative example is the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), which back in the 60s were introduced as cash dispensers and today they constitute multi-function stations where customers can perform a wide range of financial transactions, well beyond money withdrawals and deposits. The machines’ contactless capabilities, the integration with mobile and wearables, as well as their recycling capabilities, among others, boost the growth of the world ATM market and ensure an enhanced user experience.
At Printec, a leading company in business-to-customer transaction technologies in Central and Eastern Europe, we have been developing solutions that extend the role of ATMs, transforming them into a self-service channel with various functionalities and services, and endless opportunities.
One of our most effective and innovative solutions is x-core, a software solution for self-service kiosks – including ATMs – which delivers a true personalized experience by leveraging the functionality of the existing kiosk application, directly responding to the needs of today’s digital consumers by offering them extended self-service possibilities without losing human touch.
Specifically, x-core software solution offers:
- Omni-channel transactions; unlock kiosk potential and enable customers to perform a wide range of transactions by delivering superior customer service across all physical and digital channels.
- Personalized experience; create a unique experience for customers with a tailor-made interface and customized campaigns and offers.
- Increased productivity; redeploy staff to focus on customer consultation and other value adding services, optimizing staff to customer ratio and profitability per employee.
- Profit optimization; decrease cash handling and CIT costs, as well as infrastructure costs, while increasing revenue with custom CRM sales offers and real-time reactions of the staff.
How Raiffeisen Bank redefined their branches in Serbia
Raiffeisen Bank - one of the leading banks in Serbia has leveraged x-core to introduce their “Bank Yourself” concept, where each customer receives personalized functionalities, while making consultants available at the branch for more complex customer requirements. The bank decided to install next generation, fully customized ATMs in their branches and integrate Printec’s x-core software so as to offer a personalized customer experience and at the same time maintain human touch and minimize operational costs. Therefore, customers have been able to perform a number of tailor-made transactions by themselves, both cardless and cashless, while the bank has managed to extend working hours of the branch without incremental costs, increase the quality of customer service and collect valuable customer information.
ATMs are still a powerful means of transaction for banks and financial institutions
In 2019, the total number of ATMs installed in the 14 out of 16 countries where Printec is present, was estimated at approx. 80,000 units while ATM penetration was slightly less than 660 units per million capita. It is important to note that ATM penetration varies significantly per country mainly due to each country’s geographical and cultural particularities.
Branch transformation is playing a significant role
Our estimation is that we will see less bank branches in the future and with a different setup. These new types of bank branches will reinvent their interior space so as to have separate zones for each service, ranging from the 24x7 zone (or ATM zone) and the assisted self-service zone for simple transactions through self-service channels and modern payment methods, to the teller and consulting zone for more complicated transactions, improving customer service and offering a seamless experience. This way, banks could optimize the efforts and costs, by offering regular banking services through ATMs, kiosks, or e-banking and m-banking to the majority of customers, while focusing their branch operations on more profitable tasks.
Contributing and enhancing the smooth transition to the new post-COVID-19 era, we are constantly looking for new solutions in the ever-changing technological and social environment, keeping up with the latest trends and customer needs. Designing the new generation of branches and self-service channels, we offer customers the opportunity to enjoy personalized digital services with consistency and security, while maintaining human interaction.