COVID-19 has imposed on us new ways to behave socially no one has ever imagined. It made us value daily activities that we once took for granted. The impact of COVID-19 on how users are interacting with ATM networks will never be the same and will set the tone for what is to come.  Today, there is a question of how soon banks and financial institutions can swiftly provide a safer, secure and easier ATM interface that would require less physical interaction – fast.

In this article we will first discuss the philosophy of the process and then the main recommendations and changes that CLAI PAYMENTS® has been working on with its clients.


Although at CLAI PAYMENTS® we follow the rule of thumb that “the client is always right”, we have also always endorsed the view that ATMs are robots that should be used primarily to receive and deliver physical elements, mainly banknotes and coins. They should not be used as terminals for transactions without exchange of physical elements because that is what Apps and Internet portals are for; neither should they be used as advertising or complex-sale machines.

When we use ATMs, for time saving and comfort, we do not want to wait in line or at the least we want it to be very short and move fast; once at the ATM, for our safety, we want to remain there as little as possible and. And if we add COVID-19, those three variables become even more critical and a fourth one must be factored in: we want to touch the terminal as little as possible and avoid contamination.


Another strong need is to move withdrawal and deposit transactions from the agencies with human tellers to the ATMs, but this brings the challenge of how to achieve highly complex transactions in an automatic terminal. The way we are doing it most successfully is having the client pre-configure the transaction on their smartphone or computer, obtain a QR code and present it at the ATM; AZ7 already knows what the client wants and they are guided only through the least number of steps possible to complete the transaction.


A better and stronger ATM solution to offer to your customers:

  1. Elimination of unnecessary steps in navigation: for example, having to press “continue” after entering the PIN or unnecessarily requesting the currency code or account type. Using the AZ7 Graph Tool, you can quickly identify where the points of interaction are and thus speed up the analysis so that the client/terminal interaction has the least possible friction.
  2. Elimination of unnecessary typing in navigation: this applies to transactions where the user must type in a number that must be re-typed in future transactions. Store the number (tokenized if it is sensitive data), and only capture it the first time; in the following occasions present it to the client only for confirmation. This does not apply to the re-entry of the PIN for each new transaction on networks that use this security measure. You can also take advantage of technologies such as barcodes. Knowing the client and personalizing their interaction is also a good option.
  3. Use “time out” as “confirmation”: in interactions where the client must confirm, dynamically adjust the timer to a few seconds and, if the client does nothing, assume confirmation; of course, you have to adjust the screen to inform the customer.
  4. Use contactless readers: this implies hardware changes, and their associated costs, but this the route ATM networks should take. Harness also NFC technology in smartphones.
  5. Use QR codes to pre-construct transactions:

a. Use AZ7’s transaction pre-registration capabilities to preload not only highly complex transactions but now also the most common transactions (withdrawal and deposit). For the latter, it is not necessary to register or obtain client sensitive data (neither internally nor from other banks). It is enough for the clients to indicate “their intention”, on their phone.

b. For example: I want to withdraw 50,000 in local currency; we will inform you of the ATMs close to you where you can make the transaction so that you do not go to an ATM that is out of service or that, even though it may be in service, you know that you will not waste your time in line because the ATM cannot deliver that amount.

c. In the welcome screen, if possible according to the ATM brand, enable starting the transaction with the mere presentation of the QR code. Using Pareto, it is possible to achieve that in 80% of the deposits the client never touches the ATM and that in 80% of the withdrawals, assuming there is a contactless reader, clients only have to enter their PIN.

As many, we are continuing to learn about new ways to improve user interaction with ATMs and will be sharing them with you as we move forward, so that you can better assist your customer base while helping the community fight COVID-19. We are in this together.

We value your partnership and support, and if there is anything we can do to assist – please do not hesitate to contact us.

Be safe.

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