DEPOSIT AUTOMATION IS A KEY PART OF BANKS’ COST-SAVING STRATEGIES

Banks see deposit automation as a means of increasing the use of self‑service channels, saving both time and money

Banks and their customers say that more automated deposit terminals are needed

Everyone knows that if you want to withdraw cash, you go to an ATM – but how many people know that if they want to deposit cash, they may be able to use the same terminal instead of queueing at the counter? According to RBR’s Deposit Automation and Recycling 2016, an increasing number of bank customers not only know this but want to see more of it; the number of automated deposit terminals (ADTs) installed worldwide rose by 10% to 1.2 million in 2015, and banks cite customer demand as a major driver.

The benefits for the customer are clear; extended-hours access (90% of ADTs are available outside normal branch hours) and quicker account crediting are especially popular. So what’s in it for the banks? Budgets remain tight for many banks, and shifting more transactions from the teller counter to self-service can significantly reduce costs. With ATMs already well established for cash delivery, automated deposit is now coming into its own as a way of cutting cash-handling costs further.

Recycling takes centre stage

The vast majority of ADTs are deposit-capable ATMs, which both accept and dispense cash. Many banks are taking this a step further, and installing recycling ATMs which redispense deposited notes.

Cash-recycling technology has been around for more than three decades. The first ADTs were deployed in Japan in 1982, and the first recyclers followed in 1983; but many banks still consider recyclers to be too expensive or too complex. Attitudes are changing, however, as familiarity with the technology increases, and prices fall.

A third of ADTs are located away from bank branches, and replacing these machines with recycling ATMs has the potential to alleviate some of the costs and inconvenience of CIT experienced by deployers.

Number of automated deposit installations by type

Source: Deposit Automation and Recycling 2016 (RBR)
Source: Deposit Automation and Recycling 2016 (RBR)

Automated deposit will become a standard feature at ATMs

Customers in a number of markets now expect their banks to offer automated deposit as a standard ATM facility, and RBR forecasts that automated deposit will be available at 1.7 million terminals worldwide by the end of 2021. Recyclers will gain share in most markets, while the number of stand-alone deposit terminals will decline.

Rowan Berridge, who led RBR’s Deposit Automation and Recycling 2016 research, remarked: “Automated deposit terminals are becoming a standard feature in more and more markets, and I now expect the focus to shift towards recyclers,as banks become more familiar with the technology, and look for further cost savings”.

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