Many financial institutions (FIs) have committed significant capital and marketing resources in recent years to add mobile banking options to their service mix and have seen significant returns on those commitments, according to a recent financial services technology study
Cash isn’t going away any time soon. Studies
continue to show cash as a viable and oft-used form of payment in a myriad of circumstances – tipping, paying someone back, daily cup of coffee – to name but a few. Ipso facto, if cash remains popular with generations of people (including tech-savvy Millennials), how does a financial institution (FI) ensure its cardholders have convenient, easy, surcharge-free access to their cash?
If you’re one of the top 10 financial institutions in the U.S., you likely have a pretty extensive ATM footprint in place to meet your cardholders’ needs. If you’re not one of the mega-FIs, or if you’re an online institution, or even a top 10 financial institution that wants to increase its ATM access further – what options do you have?
One of them is Retail ATM Branding
. This is a marketing strategy that combines off-site ATMs in premium retail locations with a financial institution’s brand, enabling the financial institution to expand its ATM footprint while simultaneously extending brand value in retail locations highly-trafficked by consumers. Retail ATM branding enables a financial institution to brand ATM topper panels or digital topper screens and ATM screens with custom colors, logos and graphics. The FI may also brand ATM receipt headers, retail store window signs, decals and more within the store – if those opportunities are available at a particular retail location.
For the FI, Retail ATM Branding can offer significant benefits. Consider the institution that’s looking to open a branch in a new location. Retail ATM Branding provides a soft launch into that geography, together with valuable research and improved insight into the potential success or failure of a physical branch. A regional U.S. bank deploys this strategy every time it considers opening a new branch – it implements multiple touchpoints in the form of ATMs within a local area before it makes the decision to open the branch.
Brand extension that’s cost effective is a key benefit of Retail ATM Branding. The financial institution is not required to purchase ATMs, so there is no capital outlay. Operational costs (including technology and compliance update costs) are reduced, because ATM management and operations become the responsibility of the ATM provider – not the financial institution. Retail ATM Branding offers a compelling strategy to gain brand extension without the headaches associated with purchasing and managing / owning branded ATMs. For example, a top 10 financial institution in the northeastern U.S. was able to brand ATMs placed in a prominent retailer’s locations in less than 60 days, avoiding significant capital expenditure and leveraging visibility in high-profile retail locations.
Retail ATM Branding also means surcharge-free access for a financial institution’s cardholders. In a world where ATM surcharges have risen almost 30 percent since 2009, and continue their upward climb, surcharge-free cash access is a persuasive reason for cardholders to stay loyal to your financial institution.
Clearly each financial institution differs from the next in the strategic direction and business decisions it embraces. An offsite Retail ATM Branding strategy will fit better for some than others. Existing ATM footprint, geographical location, business focus and objectives, accountholder base and more must all be taken into account to ensure the success of any ATM strategy – including offsite Retail ATM Branding.
Executive Vice President
Global Markets and Accounts