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French customers voice strong support for ATMs despite rise of cashless payments and mobile banking

French customers voice strong support for ATMs despite rise of cashless payments and mobile banking

Major consumer survey reveals ATMs annoy a quarter of French people and especially Millennials as outdated but 95% say they rely on and want new services on their ATMs

May 5, 2017: Auriga, an European software solutions supplier for the banking and payments industry, revealed new research into the attitudes of French bank customers towards ATMs. Conducted by independent market researchers OpinionWay, the research found that over 90% of French people are generally satisfied with ATMs, with 95 percent of those interviewed saying they would like to see at least one new service made available on ATMs.  More than one in ten (14 percent) would even be prepared to pay a small fee (less than two euros per service on average) to benefit from additional services. Younger customers – 25-34 years old – express less satisfaction with the  ATM customer experience  and more strongly believe the technology is outdated and needs improving.

With increased use of debit cards and the emergence of new payment methods, ATM usage has been steadily declining in France over the past five years. In this study, nearly a third of respondents (29 percent) said they were using ATMs less frequently than they used to.

However, the study reveals that this doesn’t necessarily mean that ATMs are considered less essential. The research reveals a high dependency on ATMs. A very high percentage – 95 percent – of respondents said they rely on at least one type of cash machine (either one located within or outside a branch, or located in a shopping centre or train station). For 89 percent of respondents, security (safe surroundings) is the biggest factor to consider when choosing an ATM to use, with 87 percent saying that their choice also depends on what services are available via the machine.

ATMs are still mostly used for their original purpose, with 92 percent of respondents using them to withdraw cash, 45 percent to deposit cheques and 39 percent to check their balance.

Despite generally being considered as easy to use and efficient, ATMs were seen as annoying and outdated by nearly a quarter of French people surveyed. However, they still have a lot of life left in them, with 95% of respondents expressing an interest in the possible new services that they were shown as part of the study.

The most popular idea for new ATM services proved to be the ability to deposit or withdraw money in coins as well as notes (in euros and/or foreign currency) (94 percent of respondents). This was followed by the ability to carry out cardless cash withdrawals at 56% (which would be made possible via a one-shot code sent to the customer by email or SMS or via a smartphone using NFC technology or a QR code). In third place was the ability to use the ATM to set up face to face or video link meeting with bank advisers (53 percent).

However, the large numbers of respondents were equally keen to see ‘extra bank’ services made available. For example, 43 percent would like to be able to reserve and print tickets for shows or sports events using ATMs, 42 percent would like to be able to pay their bills and 36 percent would like to be able to manage their loan repayments directly using cash machines.

New services should therefore be considered, especially since 14% would be prepared to pay an additional fee to access these new services on cash machines (provided that this amounts to less than 2 euros per service on average).

The study does suggest a generational divide with  25-34 year olds express the greatest need for a better customer experience on ATMs, and being more likely to perceive ATMs as being overall ‘unsafe’ (45%), ‘outdated’ (37%) and ‘annoying’ (37%). Generally speaking, they are more interested in the new services that could be offered via ATMs than the rest of the population – 31% of them would like to have access to more services on automatic cash machines, compared to 23% of the general population. This generation is already much more likely to carry out non-banking transactions via ATMs, such as purchasing stamps or phone top-ups (17% compared to 12%).

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