Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news
A new study from RBR, Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2025, finds that while COVID-19 had affected the ATM industry, it isn’t quite in the way you might think, as it has seen a surge in innovation as ATM deployers try to find ways to make cash access quick, easy, and more importantly, safe. In other news, Nationwide records a 3000% surge in the number of video calls it has been making, and Bank of Ireland UK unveil their new polymer £20 note.
Our weekly round-up brings you a dose of some of the biggest news announcements from the past seven days so you can keep an eye on all that’s shaping our world this week.
- Cardless, cashless and contactless: will this be the new normal?
- Nationwide records surge in video calls during pandemic
- Bank of Ireland UK unveils new polymer £20 note
RBR’s recently released study, Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2025, found that while COVID-19 certainly made an impact on the ATM industry, it also prompted innovation.
The study found that there has been a spike in ATMs offering cardless cash withdrawals, as the general public searches for contactless technologies as the lockdown is being lifted. ATMs equipped with NFC and QR code readers were also found to be gaining popularity. Users insert a one-time PIN given by the ATM, which then displays an on-screen QR code which customers simply scan with their phones to get out cash. ATMs with QR codes, according to RBR, rose in 2019, but were largely driven by China, Thailand and Taiwan. Finally, the study found biometric identification methods to be making ground, such as palm screening and face recognition.
Rowan Berridge, leader of RBR’s study, said: “As concerns about COVID-19 continue to run high, cardless cash withdrawals are garnering increasing interest. ATM operators are finding ways to deliver cash and other vital services whilst mitigating risk. Even after the current pandemic, I expect to see the industry continue to innovate in this area".
Nationwide Building Society has made over 2.5 million video calls a month between staff working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. As the first financial institution in the UK to roll out Microsoft Teams in 2019, Nationwide has said that usage of the platform has spiked by 3000 percent, which has been used to maintain communications between the Society’s 12,000 staff working from home and those working in bank branches and call centres.
Patrick Eltridge, Chief Operating Officer at Nationwide, says: “Having Teams in place prior to Covid-19 has ensured we could react to lockdown rules very effectively as we prepared the organisation for new ways of working. Teams has enabled us to convene large groups of people in a way that isn’t possible in a meeting room. It’s not a contingency service for us but something we will continue to build on in the future - it’s a genuine extension of our effectiveness."
Bank of Ireland UK reveals its new polymer £20 note, due to go into circulation from 20 July. The note incorporates enhanced security features, including a holographic stripe and a clear window.
Ian Sheppard, Managing Director NI, Bank of Ireland UK, said: “As the largest issuer of banknotes in Northern Ireland, the unveiling of our new £20 polymer banknote is an important milestone in our history. Bank of Ireland UK remains at the forefront of banknote design technology. We have committed to polymer notes because they are cleaner, more durable, more environmentally friendly and, with enhanced features, they are more secure than ever before. Our switch from paper to polymer for our £5, £10 and £20 notes is an example of our innovation and commitment to meeting the evolving needs of consumers as well as our environment, so I’m delighted that we are continuing the transition from paper to polymer.”