Why banks should include ATMs in the 2023 budget – ATM Marketplace


Some banks are moving exclusively towards mobile banking for 2023, but research reveals customers, including Gen Z still want ATMs.

It’s that time of year again. The time when companies across the board start their yearly planning and carve out their budgets for the months to come. And, just like every other business, bank and credit union leaders usually have a specific picture of how the next few years should play out. It probably has a huge focus on mobile banking.

But before your institution gets too excited about throwing all its eggs into the mobile banking basket, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Mobile banking has some gravitational pull

Post-COVID mobile and digital are the new buzz words in banking. It’s no secret that nationwide shutdowns in 2020 significantly boosted mobile adoption. Today more than 75% of account holders use their institution’s mobile application as their primary venue for accessing accounts. Even older generations, who have been historically slow to adopt new technologies, were forced to use online and remote banking options to maintain ongoing control of their accounts.

As consumers continue to rely on their phones and keyboards for communication, interaction, and banking, the tasks they demand are becoming equally complex. Gen Z has growing expectations for more complex functions like loan applications, financial tracking, budgeting and finding ATMs.

Wait a second… ‘Finding ATMs’?

Oh, you read that right. Generation Z thinks locating a surcharge-free ATM should be a part of their mobile banking application. But ‘why?’ you might ask. Let’s look at the numbers.

The majority of consumers under the age of 40 consider ATM network access a primary consideration when searching for a primary financial institution.

  • Over half (62%) of consumers say they prefer to bank with institutions with a physical presence.
  • 45% of Generation Z prefer to use cash.
  • 33% of Gen Z see cash as a way to control their finances.
  • Consumers 18-34 visit an ATM to get cash more than 7 times per month.

This reliance on ATMs and self-service is not a digital or mobile banking failure. Rather, it is a product of this new infrastructure. After the pandemic, a large chunk of Millennials and Gen Z reported turning to bank machines like ATMs and ITMs (interactive teller machines) as a way to perform more in-depth financial services — as well as grab and deposit cash.

The pandemic took away in-person banking. But branches equipped with drive-ups, ATMs at “essential” businesses, and stand-alone kiosks were fair game. Account holders have learned to use and rely on these self-service options like they turned to mobile banking applications.

So, what now?

Banks and credit unions cutting back on “traditional” banking channels to sink their budgets into mobile applications may want to reconsider their strategy. There is more to remote banking than a digital presence, and account holders expect to see their financial institution brand in more places than on their phones.

Fortunately, there are ways to meet account holders’ self-service demands without destroying the means for mobile innovation. Reliable ATM outsourcing partners have options and opportunities for banks and credit unions to provide precisely what their account holders crave and even help grow the brand.

Here’s the bottom line: while mobile banking is growing and money should be allocated to improving that channel, institutions should carefully consider the younger generation’s demand for physical brand presence, ATMs and cash when crafting their budgets for 2023 and beyond.

In 2007 he founded Star and has grown it into a nationwide financial payment services provider that offers electronic and mobile payments, ATM equipment and processing, ATM branding, ATM outsourcing for financial institutions, mobile event payments and a merchant services program designed specifically for ATM deployers.

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