Ads: The new ‘A’ in ATMs

Look out. There's a new wave of 'smart machines' coming to Canada that's going to revolutionize automated banking and allow advertisers to hit the consumer with both relevant and

Look out. There’s a new wave of ‘smart machines’ coming to Canada that’s going to revolutionize automated banking and allow advertisers to hit the consumer with both relevant and

personalized messaging.

NCR’s new Windows-based APTRA software for the automated bank machine (ABM) can help banks and retailers to quickly and easily develop ad and marketing campaigns featuring full-motion video, sound, graphic and coupon features, which can target defined places within a transaction as well as specific locations, ABMs and customer segments.

‘We’re moving away from a traditional architecture

system that was very

bank-oriented to a browser-based Windows technology allowing banks and other deployers of ABM machines the ability to cross-sell either their own products – like mortgages, loans or Visa cards – or third-party products,’ says Nick Hames, VP of financial solutions division at Toronto-based NCR.

It’s a concept that the company has been experimenting with in one form or another over the past few years.

But what makes it new, Hames says, is the Windows-based software and the state of IP networks, which allows banks to draw on their own data warehouses to give personal and relevant information to a customer they’re aiming for – through the bank machine. And what’s key – the ads appear in the five- to six-second lags the ABM needs to process a banking request.

CIBC launched its new ABM CIBC Express Withdrawal service utilizing the APTRA software in late October at a branch in Toronto, and over the next year, 2,900 CIBC instant tellers will be equipped with this service. CIBC’s targeted bank messaging included Visa cards, lines of credit and overdraft protection.

‘This application allows us to deal with the customer as an individual,’ says Domenic Ciccone, senior director, ABM channel at CIBC. ‘Now when they put in their client card, we know it’s Joe Smith and we’ll see what Joe Smith’s preferences are and be able to potentially notify him his GIC is due in two weeks.’

The fact that the information being pushed forward to the client fits their profile ‘has allowed us to see much higher close rates than we’ve seen on traditional direct marketing campaigns,’ Hames says.

According to an online survey of banking customers in the United States conducted for NCR, 29% of respondents indicated they would be likely to follow up on the offer if it could immediately be completed or initiated while the ATM was processing a transaction – in comparison to higher-cost direct mail, which typically garners response rates in the 3% to 5% range or less.

‘So rather than getting a brochure in my mail, the fact that it comes up on the machine where the attention is focused, because – let’s face it, with a consumer who’s waiting for money to come out they don’t stand there looking around – it’s a perfect chance to do something with that time,’ Hames says.