There are about 3 million ATMs in the world, and 425,000 in the U.S. alone, with almost half owned by banks and other financial institutions. But while a cash machine may truly be a cash machine for its owner, cash is no longer king.
Withdrawals are stagnating as payments with debit cards, credit cards, checks and other non-cash methods have increased exponentially. A Federal Reserve study last year found that there were an estimated 144 billion U.S. non-cash payments with a value of almost $178 trillion in 2015, up almost 21 billion payments and $17 trillion since 2012.
But while the ATM is nearing its 50th birthday, the big banks still think it has a future and are pouring millions into upgrades and innovations as they “integrate the machines more closely with their mobile apps,” according to American Banker.
Here’s what to expect from the next-generation ATMS being rolled out by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and others:
- “Pre-staged” transactions. You set up a withdrawal on your mobile app and then tap your phone on an ATM to get cash without having to type in a pin.
- Cardless transactions. In March, Wells Fargo introduced a system at its 13,000 ATMs that allows bank customers to request an access code from their mobile app and then use the code and their debit card pin to make withdrawals without using a physical card.
- The ability to withdraw large sums of cash, just like you can from a teller.
- The option to withdraw money in denominations other than the standard $20 bill.
- Machines that look and feel more like big iPads instead of clunky metal boxes.
In addition, American Banker says, banks are looking at back-end improvements such as machines that can recycle cash deposits so they can be used for withdrawals, to help prevent an ATM from running out of bills.
And Bank of America has been testing automated branches that have ATMs and private videoconference rooms where customers can confer with a banker or loan officer who is not on the premises.