Tuesday, May 12, 2020View Showroom
ATMIA, a global not-for-profit trade association with over 12,000 members in 70 countries, today released the key findings of its COVID-19 Member Survey, entitled “The Coronavirus and its Effects on the ATM Industry”.
The respondents represented three main industry groups, namely Independent ATM Deployers (IADs) (39% of respondents), Hardware and Software Vendors (19% of respondents) and Banks, SFIs and Credit Unions (14% of respondents). Under the lockdown, 48% of respondents said they could operate 75% of their ATM fleet, 25% of respondents had between 50-75% of their fleet operating, while 27% of respondents had to survive with under 50% of their ATM fleet operational. Of this latter group, 23% had to operate with under 25% of their ATM estates open for business. One member even recorded that 98% of their ATM locations were closed. Many members expressed concern about the number of retailers going out of business, or facing an uphill battle to survive. The survey also made it clear that many businesses have been forced to seek government relief to survive beyond the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions have created a very difficult business environment for our member ATM operators, especially our Independent ATM Deployers (IADs),” said Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA. “The survey results show many of the pain points our industry faces as a result of the pandemic, with loss of transactions and revenue due to closed business premises and also due, especially in the first month of the pandemic, to the anti-cash campaign which used blatant pseudo-science to target and single out cash as a supposed transmission vector for coronavirus transmission. In reality, all physical surfaces, and even the air and ground itself, can carry viral droplet residues, so this was a bogus anti-cash propaganda campaign exploiting the misery of the pandemic for dishonest gain. Thankfully, the effects of this somewhat sordid disinformation campaign have subsided and ATM transaction volumes are rising again.”
In addition to this substantial loss of business and income, and difficulties in ATM shipments and supply of parts, reduction in tourism and ATM transactions at popular tourist locations, the survey showed that investments in new projects are currently being held back, as a result of economic uncertainty and a loss of business confidence. The survey paints the picture of member companies facing a double whammy of financial losses and health threats from a highly infectious virus.
“ATMIA salutes the first and second line maintenance staff, technicians, and ATM operational and management teams, as well as the personnel carrying out cash replenishment, plus the vendors and suppliers who provided a ton of support during this extremely challenging time,” Lee added.
While the survey focused on the industry’s pain points, it also assessed the member’s hopes for the future.
“There is an opportunity to reposition the ATM for future growth and to redefine the essential role of cash both in and beyond a crisis of this nature,” Lee commented. “There is a new future for ATMs after the pandemic, especially since it has not halted the march of Next Gen ATMs, a future-proofing project with over 325 companies participating worldwide in integrating ATMs and mobile phones to create a new API App model for ATMs.”
On top of asking ATMIA for guidance in setting new standards for sanitizing ATMs, with a new cleaning protocol for a “new normal”, with some social distancing built in, and in a communication strategy to address the fear factors identified in the survey, the respondents outlined their preferences for new ATM functionalities in future, including NFC-enabled ATMs, pre-staged App-based transactions, Global Money Transfers, recycling ATMs, bitcoin and crypto-currency services at ATMs, contactless ATM transactions, charity donations, transport ticketing, bill payments, video ads and video telling, card dispensing, transport tickets, biometric authentication and AI.
70% of respondents said they would like to participate in the Consortium for Next Gen ATMs project, with only 12% saying they wouldn’t and 18% being undecided.
“We will accelerate our push to reinvent the ATM and we will communicate that cash is still safe and convenient to use as the only form of public money and that ATMs are vital to any consumer based economy which cherishes freedom of choice,” Lee added. “Finally, some respondents asked us to help the industry prepare for a future pandemic and to revise their business planning and disaster recovery procedures.”
ABOUT ATMIA - ATMIA is the leading non-profit trade association representing the entire global ATM industry. ATMIA serves more than 12,000 members from over 650 participating companies in 66 countries spanning the whole ATM ecosphere, including financial institutions, independent ATM deployers, equipment manufacturers, processors and a plethora of ATM service and value-added solution providers. ATMIA provides education, advocacy and connections to help its members keep abreast of industry news and developments; increase knowledge and professionalism; improve operational efficiencies; understand and influence regulatory processes; participate in the local, regional and global ATM community; and forge new relationships to advance their businesses. Founded in 1997, ATMIA has active chapters in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East focusing on the unique needs and issues of each region. For more information, please visit atmia.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.