There's a certain level of risk involved in investing branches with new technology. If the goal is to get closer to customers, it is important that they are wowed and not confused. Before committing to major investments, banks should consider going through a discovery process to research customer needs, and then design the best solution.
When BBVA developed their next generation ATMs they employed a San Francisco design firm, IDEO, which studied the way customers use ATMs and worked on the design for two years. Microsoft then wrote the software for the user interface.
Nascent Digital (http://www.nascentdigital.com/) is one of the market leaders in the field of combining market research with the design and development of user interface technology. As a result, Nascent is able to create rich and relevant connections with customers from business applications to educational and entertaining experiences.
Having previously deployed experiences on the iPhone platform, Nascent has eased into working with the cutting edge Windows Phone Series 7 device. Nascent Labs' mobile platform enables them to quickly conjure up game-changing applications connected to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. They have also played a major role in the development of Microsoft Surface technology.
Nascent's approach compiles and distills existing research to form a basis for further inquiry. Industry best practices, existing published research, and open access data are evaluated in order to focus their primary research.
The target market is then segmented, and representative users are sought out for focus groups. Discussions led by expert coordinators are directed to reveal a deeper insight into the user base. This provides a further level of insight into customer needs.
Once the research process is complete, the design process can begin and the enabling technologies selected to deliver the target experience that the bank wants to deliver.
By understanding customer needs upfront, banks have a much better chance of ensuring their technology investments give customers what they really need to be successful in empowering their branches with new technology. It may take more time to get it right first time, but in the long run it might be quicker and more effective.
For more details on the next generation ATM at BBVA please visit:
Insightful article. ATMs are so pervasive and many banks try to differentiate themselves by touting their ATM count. Most consumers select their bank based on trust and convenience, and ATMs play an important role in both. That said, there has been little to no innovation with these devices in 30 years, so the BBVA work is refreshing!
Great point Ben.
Interesting to note that despite the swing towards a virtual economy, one of the outcomes of the financial crisis is that people are using cash more and credit less. The Fed has also produced a study that projects a need for ATMs far into the future. So banks should see a long term return from investing in new ATM technology.