Bank Marketing Strategy
Leveraging ATMs To Market Your Bank or Credit Union
By 2028, the IMARC Group anticipates the global ATM market to reach $29.6 billion. Part of the reason behind this growth is the decline of in-person visits to branch offices. In fact, according to the American Bankers Association, out of all banking options, only “one in 5 Baby Boomers (20%) visit bank branches the most often, while only 6% of Gen Z prefer to visit a branch.” With the ATM market rapidly growing and branch visits declining, financial institutions have a powerful opportunity to establish alternatives for customers to complete their banking activities outside of a branch.
ATMs and ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) can not only provide convenient alternatives to branch visits, fulfilling many needs like cash withdrawals not available in online banking, they can also be leveraged as a cost-effective bank marketing strategy. Below, we’ll discuss both how to use ATMs to market your financial institution, and how to market the ATMs themselves to increase your FI’s ATM visibility and usage.
Marketing through ATMs and ITMs
Beyond providing crucial services to your customers, ATMs and ITMs can be effective vehicles for promoting all your financial institution has to offer.
The Power of ATM Core Integration
Traditionally, ATMs have been very limited in the types of transactions that customers are able to conduct, reducing their overall usefulness as a replacement for in-person banking. With core integration, where banks and credit unions can pull from their customer account data to expand the capabilities of ATM transactions, ATMs and ITMs can become a viable alternative to branch visits—with the convenience of extended hours.
As more and more financial institutions are making the switch to ATM core integration, it’s quickly becoming crucial for individual banks and credit unions to upgrade their ATM offerings to stay competitive. And the additional benefits of using ATMs that are integrated with your financial institution’s core customer database can be substantial: customers can access all their accounts on one screen, FIs can analyze consumer behavior, and ATMs can become a one-stop-shop for a customer’s most common banking needs.
When choosing a provider to manage your ATMs, make sure their products integrate directly with your core banking system in order to take advantage of these benefits:
- Customers can easily set ATM preferences in their mobile banking app on their phone.
- FIs can create personalized ATM messaging based on location and device type.
- FIs can track customer transactions with real-time analytics.
ATM Messaging Touchpoints
Integrated ATMs can not only provide a more convenient and useful customer experience. They can also deliver additional marketing opportunities—direct to your customers. Strategic marketing messaging provides a simple and effective way to promote your financial institution’s additional banking products throughout the user’s ATM experience.
Beyond the immediacy of ATM messaging, promotions placed at touchpoints throughout a user’s experience can provide marketing opportunities that feel more like an organic incorporation than a sales pitch. Utilizing the following ATM screens can help cross-sell and upsell your FI’s products:
Welcome Screen: The welcome screen is your chance to make a positive first impression. Along with the greeting, introduce users to a variety of your product offerings in a non-invasive and welcoming way.
Processing Screen: As users wait for a transaction to process, there is another opportunity to advertise your product offerings. For example, you can display a snapshot of a high-interest savings account, making sure to include a trust symbol, like a photo of actual branch employees.
Thank-You Screen: The thank-you screen is your last impression. Here, you can express genuine gratitude for their transaction and invite them to visit a branch location or website to learn more about a particular product offering.
Printed and E-Receipts
While on-screen impressions allow for direct marketing opportunities during key points within the user experience, ATM transactions come with an additional built-in chance to reach your customers: the receipt.
A receipt can be much more than a record of a transaction. Utilizing your printed and e-receipts as marketing material can provide an additional method to increase awareness of your FI’s product offerings that they can later reference. And e-receipts can even be embedded with clickable links to relevant landing pages on your website, making it easier for your customers to access those products.
Lastly, by including a call-to-action on the receipt for your customers to review their experience with branch surveys, you can gain useful market insights and learn ways to improve your service and better respond to customer needs.
Marketing Your ATMs and ITMs
ATM marketing follows many of the same rules that you would use for promoting any physical product or service: choose effective locations, provide easy-to-access information online, and brand with professionalism and continuity in mind.
Location, location, location.
Where you choose to place your ATMs can be as important as how you choose your branch locations. While drive-thru locations are useful along any busy thoroughfare, 44% of heavy ATM users live in cities. In addition to locating your ATMs or ITMs outside or within your branches, focus placement on densely populated locations with high foot traffic to meet your customers (and potential future customers!) where they are. Consider busy and walkable areas in the largest nearby cities or towns—especially in locations frequented by your target demographic.
To cater to your customer base, be sure to reference the addresses on your current customer list and highlight potential locations that can serve the largest concentrations of customers. Because convenience is a huge factor in customer ATM usage, locating ATMs central to where your current customers live (and work) can drastically increase their usage.
While customers may stumble upon well-branded ATMs (more on this below) without assistance, more and more frequently customers use online searches to locate desired services. With a quick and simple online search, your customers should be able to find the closest or most convenient ATM location.
Additionally, many customers will choose to reference your FI’s website to find available locations. Consider having a designated ATM & Branch Location Finder on your website where users can easily search ATM locations. Be sure to include details about what services are available, how the ATM can be accessed (walk-up, drive-thru, lobby, etc.), and hours of availability.
Signage and Branding
ATMs and ITMs are an extension of your financial institution. That’s why ATM branding should be well-designed, matching your FI’s existing aesthetic, from color schemes to logos and fonts.
Expertly coordinated signage and branding has the following advantages:
- Creates a sense of trust for your customers who may be wary of scams like ATM skimming, particularly when using ATMS at off-site locations.
- Helps your customers easily locate ATMs associated with your financial institution.
- Builds a sense of continuity which extends beyond your branches.
- Amplifies your FI’s presence through the community, making your FI feel more expansive and better connected.
- Can help create brand awareness for new or potential customers.
Because your ATMs are a highly visible extension of your financial institution, consider that they represent you to both the outside world and your valued customers. ATMs should be inviting and instill users with confidence. Modern, clean, and well-branded ATMs are essential for creating the best user experience. Make sure that your ATMs properly align with your FI’s existing brand and represent the quality of services you offer across the board.
Avoiding ATM Pitfalls
Appropriate and well-designed ATM signage and graphics can elevate your financial institution to ATM users. But a poor user experience can do just the opposite, undoing all your good work. Proper ATM management must avoid the following issues to maintain a positive user experience.
Poor functionality: Ensuring your ATMs are fully functioning and ready for customer use is imperative for customer satisfaction and brand image. When a customer attempts to use an ATM and it is empty, out of ATM receipt paper, or otherwise out of service, it reflects poorly on your financial institution and can harm brand reputation.
Slow speeds: Slow transaction speeds created by both poor network connectivity and outdated ATM technology, or ATM software can be a major cause of frustration for the user. With more and more FIs upgrading to smart ATMs and ITMs, having a fast and high-tech system is a qualifier to be competitive in the ATM/ITM space.
What is the solution to these ATM pitfalls? ATM as a Service (ATMaaS) delivers consistency, high standards, and constant maintenance across your entire ATM fleet, increasing your ATM’s uptimes and improving your customers’ experience. By outsourcing the management of your ATM fleet to an expert team of service people, your employees can better focus on customer relationships and other branch operations, along with a number of related benefits.
How BankBound Can Help
At BankBound, we specialize in digital marketing for financial services. Over the years, we’ve built strong relationships with ATM sales and service providers like Shields Business Solutions, and we understand how important it is to properly integrate your ATMs into your marketing promotions.
Schedule a conversation with a digital marketing strategist today to discuss specific ways BankBound can help your financial institution reach its ATM advertising and marketing goals.