Mobile phones to make ATMs safer & more convenient
At the recent 'RBC Applied Innovation Symposium' in Toronto, Canada, NCR Corporation demonstrated ways in which automated teller machines (ATMs) and mobile channels (such as mobile phones and Bluetooth devices) can be merged to offer consumers safer and more convenient self-service banking facilities.
Using a Personas ATM, NCR demonstrated how the security of the self-service channel can be increased when SMS transaction confirmation messages are sent directly to the user's mobile phone. An electronic ATM receipt transmitted from the ATM to the phone provides real-time notification of transactions. Not only does this give consumers an electronic alternative to the traditional paper receipt but it also immediately alerts them about any unauthorised transactions so that appropriate and preventative action can take place (e.g. calling the bank to suspend the card).
Safety and convenience "We are enhancing the convenience of self-service banking by linking it to another well-used technology: the mobile phone. Our goal is to develop new self-service applications that harmonise with consumers' more mobile lifestyles," explained Mark Grossi, chief technology officer for NCR's financial solutions division.
For the visually impaired, accessibility to the ATM channel can also be improved. Rather than the consumer plugging in a headset to an audio jack at the ATM, using a Bluetooth connection means that audio can be provided directly to their headset in an inconspicuous manner.
Other mobile applications NCR also highlighted the synergy between ATMs and mobile technology by demonstrating how the ATM can be used:
- As a vehicle for consumers to recharge their pre-paid mobile phones.
- As a top-up facility for cashless payment systems such as an electronic wallet stored on a mobile phone. As part of its demonstration, NCR used a mobile phone equipped with an RFID tag to conduct an ATM transaction. No bank card was required.
"We have demonstrated a number of ways that the ATM could be used to provide enhanced levels of service to consumers. The technologies are currently available to deliver real value and we anticipate these and other such services will be piloted by financial institutions over the next 12 months," concluded Grossi.
Further development As part of its ongoing research activity in this area, NCR has been an active participant in the Mobey Forum, working to understand banks' needs and to develop solutions that leverage customers' existing ATM infrastructure. Established in May 2000, the Mobey Forum is a global financial industry-driven organisation whose mission is to encourage the use of mobile technology in financial services.