The world of digital banking and financial technology is always growing, and it can be hard to keep up. Many new forms of financial technology have appeared – cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFTs, etc – and it’s more important than ever to know how to approach these innovations.
As an ATM owner, you know that security and reliable access to money is pivotal to protecting your business. Providing users the ability to withdraw Bitcoin from an ATM creates more transaction opportunities, but also increases security risks if you publish a system update with insecure code. These advances in technology come with a lot of downsides as well, as hackers and bad actors attempt to take advantage of business owners caught unprepared. Managing an ATM is a difficult process, but can be easier if you focus on security, reliability, and customer satisfaction to guide your business changes.
There are a lot of different threats to the security of an ATM, but with the right steps, you can prevent would-be thieves from gaining access to your machines. With lots of new and different technologies available, it can be hard to determine the best approach to securing your machines. Whether someone is trying to physically break into an ATM, or access unsecured data, a shrewd businessman should examine all the possible vectors of attack in order to prevent them.
Because ATMs rely on a lot of digital technology, they’re a prime target for those looking to commit financial cyber crimes. Data is constantly being transmitted throughout the software and through wireless connections. If the data is not end-to-end encrypted, you’re leaving the door unlocked for criminals. Work with cybersecurity-trained developers with experience in writing secure code for finance whenever you publish an update to the ATM’s operating system.
Cyberattacks are carried out through the injection of malware, skimming, shimming, cashouts, and jackpotting. While brute force is almost impossible to complete in a timely manner, a bad actor could discretely place a miniature camera to capture card information inside of the card reader within a minute. Ensure you have someone on the ground to physically examine your ATMs every so often. Protecting end users will protect your investment as well.
While much harder to implement than a cyber attack, there are a lot of ways that people could physically attack ATMs to gain access to the cash within. Tools such as crowbars and hammers, while obvious in the daylight or crowded areas, can be utilized at night when no one is around. Physical attacks on the machine can be prevented through the hiring of security personnel for your store, or through reinforcement of the outside of the machine. Well-placed security cameras in obvious and not-obvious positions can deter attackers and capture footage of anyone who is not deterred.
Attacks on the machine aren’t the only types of physical attacks that can happen on an ATM. Someone may physically force a person using an ATM machine to give up their PIN number, or to hand them the money after they’ve withdrawn. The best way to prevent potential hold-ups is to keep your ATM in a well-lit and populated area. Keep an eye on ATM users for suspicious behavior, such as repeatedly looking over their shoulders, or people crowding around the machine.
One of the most important parts of managing an ATM is making sure that your ATM is entirely reliable. Not only does the machine need to work properly and securely transmit data, it needs to have cash too! Not only will you retain customers better, but you’ll make more income. Making sure to keep your ATM updated with the newest technologies will increase customer satisfaction and your profits.
Maintenance and Testing
Regular maintenance and testing may be a hassle, but they’re key to making sure to keep loyal customers. A professional technician that has experience with ATMs can tell you a lot about the state of your machine, including compromised components or potential attack vectors. A technician will usually complete a visual inspection, following up with a diagnostic inspection that will evaluate the internal and external health of your ATM. This will keep you on top of any problems that may arise in the future, which is important to the longevity of the product.
Another extraordinarily important part of testing and maintenance is being able to make repairs quickly. This can mean getting a technician that is willing to be on-call or even learning how to make quick repairs yourself. The longer that your machine stays off, the less income it can generate. Furthermore, this will make it harder to retain customers who have been disappointed by frequent out-of-service periods.
Another very important part of your ATMs reliability is having competent portfolio management behind the scenes. When you’re competing with purely digital banking platforms, creating a reliable portfolio to ensure that your ATMs are running optimally is extremely important. These ATM portfolios can be managed yourself, or by a third party. Whichever route you choose, it’s important to make sure you have a diverse range of technologies available in your portfolio that are able to keep up with the demands of your customers. Be sure that you’re innovating alongside digital technology, rather than against it!
3. Customer Service
While ATMs don’t require much face-to-face interaction, online customer service is still a big factor in ATM management. Making sure to provide friendly answers to questions about usage as well as keeping your workers accountable is a big part of encouraging returners.
Online Customer Service
If a customer or business owner does have a problem and needs to contact you, having a friendly staff can be the difference between a lifelong customer and someone who never uses your products again. Making sure that your customer service team has knowledge about the machines that you put out should be your first priority. This will filter out any questions that are easy fixes, which will give you time to handle more complicated concerns.
Another huge part of ATM customer service is handling claims of fraud. Often, this experience can be terrifying to go through for consumers and incredibly stressful for institutions. Take all concerns of fraudulent activity seriously, and make sure to record the conversation so that you have all the information available to pursue an investigation if necessary. Above all, be very patient with those who have been affected by fraud.
Channels of Communication
Having open channels of communication is also a great way to have better customer service. This may mean going above and beyond what other ATM providers may have done in the past. The inclusion of helpful online resources is always a great way to make sure that your customers have the information they need to succeed.
These channels can include messaging, calling, and emailing with extremely fast turnaround times. Open channels of communication also provide an avenue of support in the event of power outages, shutdowns, or other unexpected happenings.
Can ATMs shine in the Digital Age?
ATMs still have a place in the digital age! While they may not be as frequently utilized as they were before credit cards existed, ATMs still are crucial to the operations of businesses around the world. Ultimately, a mix of service, reliability, and security will make your financial technology shine. Innovating alongside digital technology, instead of against it, is key to robust financial success.