Personally, I can’t ever remember using an ATM for anything except withdrawing cash and have no interest in visiting them to get mini-statements, advertisements for savings accounts or anything else. I do remember, some years ago, advising the Strategy Group in one of the U.K.’s big four banks about some issues to do with new technology and multi-channel access. At that time, one of the ideas they were considering — to persuade more people to use their ATMs — was to commission jokes from comedy writers so that you could opt to have a joke before your transaction. The marketing guys, naturally, didn’t know anything about queueing theory or Poisson distributions, so it didn’t take long before one of the operational analysts calculated that the bank would need to double the number of ATMs it provided into order to stop people from rioting when they popped round to an ATM to get some money out only to discover a queue snaking round the block. I’m with Jim Gaffigan on this one: if I go to the ATM and there’s even one person in front of me, I’m like “what is this, the Soviet Union?” and I move on.
This is, I have to say, one of least mad ideas I’ve heard about for ATMs recently. I have heard otherwise sane persons discussing allowing teenagers to download music from them, for example. These are all hallmarks of a tipping point on the horizon, aren’t they?
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]