Mansoor is a member of the Azimut marketing team and specializes in digital content. When he's not writing about self service, Mansoor spends his time brewing coffee or cycling.
In this blog:
- How the pandemic impacted various industries
- How self service changed consumer expectations
- The rise of cashless & contactless payments
- How reverse ATMs can add value to cashless venues
Reverse ATMs are a new technology that facilitate cashless transactions by issuing active EMV cards to customers that don't necessarily have a bank card and/or rely on cash. Recently, various venues such as sports stadiums, amusement parks, casinos and hotels have installed reverse ATMs to facilitate cashless transactions in order to meet COVID-19 health & safety regulations and not to mention, to gear up for an inevitable cashless future.
The Aftermath of the Pandemic
Businesses haven't even properly got a chance to deal with the aftermath of the previous wave of the ongoing global health crisis and there's already a new, supposedly more dangerous, variant of the virus just over the horizon. Four waves of the pandemic and innumerable lockdowns later, the world has realized that this is going to become a recurring theme in our future and we need to be prepared for it.
Self Service on The Rise
Certain industries like telecommunications, consumer banking, retail and quick service restaurants have already had self service kiosks to service customers as secondary channels and touchpoints. However, during the pandemic, these secondary channels became primary as physical stores and branches were forced to shut down for months.
Even more banks, telecoms, retail outlets and restaurants invested heavily into self service technology as they witnessed its success during the pandemic. Cash deposits, SIM dispensing, mobile money transactions, ordering food, retail checkouts were all automated by self service eliminating the need for human staff to service customers physically.
Self service has become a staple in service delivery and most consumers have come to expect a self service option from their banks, telecom service providers, supermarkets and even their local McDonald's. Recent surveys have revealed that 81% of customers prefer to take matters into their on hands and solve their own problems.
Digital Payments Skyrocket
Cashless and contactless technology grew side-by-side with self service as one of the largest concerns with cash transactions after the pandemic became hygiene since cash is known to carry several harmful pathogens and in many cases, even trace amounts of cocaine. This meant that it would also very easily spread this new strain of the Coronavirus.
So naturally, the emphasis on cashless and contactless technologies such as credit/debit cards, mobile wallets and cryptocurrency grew tremendously and nearly every merchant now offers one or all of these options as a means of furnishing transactions.
A Global Cashless Future?
There had already existed plans and projections regarding a global cashless society. However, the Coronavirus pandemic accelerated the timelines for implementation tremendously with cashless and contactless payments becoming increasingly widespread. This past year, we saw many public venues announce that they would be going completely cashless for the foreseeable future.
Among these venues were major league sports stadiums such as The Rogers Centre in Toronto and The MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to name a few. Similarly, resorts and casinos that see a heavy cash flow have also considered a fully cashless future.
What About Cash Customers?
However, there is a massive caveat between us and a cashless society; a very sizeable chunk of our global population remains unbanked, underbanked or prefers to use cash for their everyday transactions. This means that a lot of people don't have bank accounts which means no bank cards. If the world were to go cashless overnight, billions of people would be alienated and unable to purchase basic goods and services.
So, then what? How do we help the unbanked and cash reliant transition towards a cashless future? We give them a taste of cashless payments with a prepaid debit card that they can top up and use as they please without the need for a bank account or any registration.
Yes you heard right, this requires no registration and you receive an active prepaid card ready to use at any POS terminal that accepts VISA or Mastercard. A reverse ATM helps cash customers convert their cold hard cash into a debit card loaded with their cash amount. The point of these machines is to not alienate cash customers at cashless venues.
These kiosks serve an additional purpose which is to give cash reliant customers a taste of cashless payments. The convenience of these payments may change their mind and motivate them to purchase more advanced financial products like proper bank accounts and bank cards.
Add Value to Your Cashless Venue
Most importantly, these Reverse ATM kiosks add value to any venue as they future proof the place by adding a self service option to acquire a means of making cashless payments. Customers want self service but they may not necessarily want to go cashless just yet so this kiosk is the perfect solution for large venues that see a large footfall of customers that purchase food & drink, tickets, merchandise, gift cards and so on.
Reach out to Azimut Self Service if you're looking to go cashless with your hotel, sports stadium, amusement park, cinema or airport. We'll help you spec out a bespoke solution that's perfect for your use case.