The world’s ‘Most Intelligent’ ATM

Smaller and more remote bank branches are closing at what appears to be an ever-increasing rate. To ensure access to financial services continues in such an environment, the  ‘intelligent, multipurpose ATM’ offers a viable solution.

The ATM shown here from Amman in Jordan lives in its own stand-alone, air conditioned pod with satellite connectivity and solar powered batteries as back up should the electricity supply fail.  It features an Interactive Teller and introduces the customer to a world of multiple touchscreens, augmented reality, and digital interaction.

The Interactive Teller — with whom I had an amusing conversation in Arabic and English just to prove to myself that it works as advertised — allows a handful of centrally located staff to remotely deliver almost all of the teller services typically available at a traditional branch, and at all times of day and night.

These machines no longer qualify as ATMs. They have morphed into ‘Full-service, semi-automated, 24/7, Mini-Banks’. They can dispense and accept cash in multiple denominations (including recycling those deposits), make on the spot currency conversions (at near interbank rates), accept check deposits, and offer a broad range of other services, such as bill payment, funds transfer, mobile phone top-up and mini-statements.

Given that any one of these machines can adapt its branding depending on who is walking up to it — yes, some ATMs can identify you from some distance away just from the way you walk apart from any other biometric — multiple banks can provide services via the same machine, thus reducing costs for all.

This ‘Mini-Bank’ concept is the face of digital transformation in financial services and is likely to be the future of retail banking. My bet is that, despite its initial expense, it will become the platform of choice, especially in poor and remote locations where cash remains the payment option of choice.

You heard it here first.