Plenty of people never carry around cash anymore, to the point where many have begun to think of ATMs as a rip-off thanks to usage fees or a relic of the past. However, that being said, these are still very important parts of banking for most people and there’s no denying that few technological advances have had the impact on not only an industry, but an entire society, the way that ATMs have.
Changed Banking Account Concepts
The idea that a customer has access to the money in his or her account at any point is a relatively new one, and especially when that idea goes to being able to get cash on hand as opposed to writing a check and hoping people accept it. This created generations who were used to having the ability to check on their accounts at any time, to be able to grab cash even after hours, and to be able to even access their accounts from across the world.
These seem like givens now, but the ATM was the first practical concept of being able to actually do that, and it set the foundation for more advanced technology to come like online banking, smart chips, debit cards, and more.
Changed How Consumers Thought
Beyond services, this changed how consumers actually thought and reacted. The idea 30 years ago of having your money on a card, trusting a balance to a machine, or pulling cash anywhere would be inconceivable. Yet as the technology spread and made life easier, and banks saw huge profits from introducing ATM fees, which made this a growing technology everyone seemed to benefit from.
The widespread use of ATMs becoming a common thing made basic international commerce easier, especially for travelers and tourists, once again paving the way for more versatile technology to follow as people become increasingly comfortable with access to cash in situations that had never been possible in the past.
A Few Final Thoughts
Tracing the full impact that ATMs have had in the banking industry is next to impossible as it not only changed technology and the financial industry, but helped pave the way for mentally training and conditioning the general population to interact with machines and expect fast access to their accounts in ways that had been impossible before. It’s hard to imagine society having trust for things such as online banking or smart banking if it wasn’t for the ATM leading the way with the idea of access to your account wherever you went.