Consumer preferences continue to shift at a rapid pace, and banks and credit unions are being challenged to adapt. In addition to evolving customer expectations, institutions across the globe face lingering economic pressures that make driving efficiencies and optimizing processes a significant priority.
These factors are creating both challenges and opportunities as we look to a new year. Experts from NCR Atleos today shared the following trends to watch in 2024.
Self-service banking strategies are prioritized. The way consumers want to interact with service providers of all types has shifted, and banks and credit unions are no different. There is a widespread shift toward self-service, and institutions must respond accordingly. ATMs and ITMs are critical components of such a strategy, bridging the gap between digital to physical and physical to digital touchpoints.
Cash remains a global mainstay. Despite predictions of cash’s demise, it still remains a necessity across the globe. Millennials and low to moderate income households increasingly use cash to budget, especially in light of economic uncertainty. Plus, cash is crucial for the unbanked and those without access to credit. Next year, banks and credit unions will give more attention to how to manage cash in efficient, effective ways and how to expand access to cash for their customers.
Physical banking touchpoints will look (and feel) different. As digital usage and adoption continues its upward trajectory, institutions globally are reimagining their physical touchpoints and branch networks. For example, there is a rise in the shared utility model, which enables self-service for customers while reducing the reliance on extensive branch and ATM infrastructure.
In this approach, institutions plug into a network of ATMs within trusted retail locations (grocery, convenience/fuel and big box stores), allowing customers to withdraw – and in some instances, even deposit – cash from the convenience of where they live and shop. Such a strategy also benefits retailers, providing higher foot traffic in stores and bringing additional value to shoppers.
The as a Service model grows and expands. Even though ATMs remain critical to financial institutions’ self-service strategies, the traditional deployment model can present challenges for some institutions as they work to operate efficiently and quickly innovate. Instead, more institutions are migrating to an ATM as a Service model, relying on a trusted partner to outsource partial or complete ATM maintenance and management.
This is not the only touchpoint that is shifting to an as a Service model; next year, ITM as a Service will gain momentum as well. Such an approach to these self-service channels boosts efficiencies, enhances security and compliance and delivers a more modern, optimized customer experience.
Better options for the under and unbanked will gain momentum. Nearly 1.7 billion people globally are underbanked, lacking access to much needed financial services. In an attempt to close this gap, many financial institutions will focus on offering alternatives to serve these underserved groups. New cash deployment strategies (especially those that extend access to cash more quickly), the shared ATM network utility model and the reconfiguration of physical touchpoints like ATMs and ITMs can and should be used to increase financial inclusion.
“As the way people want to engage with and access financial services shifts, bankers’ strategies and retail banking distribution models should as well,” said Stuart Mackinnon, Chief Operating Officer, NCR Atleos. “At NCR, we are uniquely positioned to deliver the end-to-end solutions and services that power digital to physical and physical to digital transactions, increase operational efficiencies and position financial services companies to grow and succeed.”