‘ATMs are poised to grow more in­tel­li­gent in un­der­stand­ing cus­tomer needs’

The Smart Manager - - Finance -

The all-per­va­sive ATM (au­to­mated teller ma­chine) has turned fifty this year. John Shep­herd-Bar­ron came up with the con­cept of au­to­matic cash dis­penser af­ter be­com­ing frustrated at not be­ing able to ac­cess his own money out­side bank­ing hours. He went on to in­stall the world’s first ATM at Bar­clays Bank in 1967.

Ini­tially, ATMs took in coded cheques, and ex­changed them for cash. The idea of a PIN stored on the card was de­vel­oped by the Bri­tish en­gi­neer John Rose in 1965. The mod­ern, net­worked ATM was in­vented in Dal­las, Texas, by Don Wet­zel in 1968.

HSBC in­tro­duced the first ATM in In­dia in 1987.

In the his­tory of bank­ing, the ATM has been one of the most ‘im­pact­ful’ in­no­va­tions touch­ing the life of the com­mon man. Al­though it looks nor­mal to­day, this de­vice changed the way the cus­tomer uses cash prior to its avail­abil­ity, and also paved the way for the on-de­mand econ­omy. In de­vel­op­ing mar­kets, these ma­chines serve pop­u­la­tions pre­vi­ously ex­cluded from the fi­nan­cial sys­tem, of­ten in re­mote lo­ca­tions.

in­no­va­tion and im­pact

The early ATMs ad­dressed the spe­cific cus­tomer prob­lems of re­stric­tive bank­ing hours, and abil­ity to get cash any­where. Fur­ther evo­lu­tion brought in ma­jor change in re­tail bank­ing ser­vice—trans­form­ing many func­tions of teller/cus­tomer, to ma­chine/cus­tomer in­ter­face. This is con­sid­ered a fore­run­ner to to­day’s on­line/mo­bile-based ser­vices.

ATMs showed for the first time that a hu­man-cen­tred ser­vice can be pro­vided by a ma­chine with en­hanced trust, con­ve­nience, and faster ser­vice. It strength­ened the cus­tomer’s bond with banks. As a re­sult, banks avoided

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