The exhibit floor at the Retail Delivery '96 Conference - once the proud domain of the automated teller machine industry - was dominated this year by companies like Sun Microsystems, Microsoft Corp., and Oracle Corp., hawking home banking.
Still, the big three ATM manufacturers made their presence felt at the big Bank Administration Institute show here last week.
NCR Corp., Diebold Inc., and Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc. showed off new devices with personalized screen greetings, customized colors, and connections to the Internet.
NCR, the largest ATM manufacturer in the world, seemed to have the biggest booth on the floor, a faux wood-paneled labyrinth stocked with its new line of PersonaS machines.
Providing customized color options that match banks' logos, PersonaS have 15-inch screens recessed for privacy, modular parts that can easily be replaced, and a software development kit that allows banks to write their own programs and replace them more frequently, among other features.
The AT&T spinoff also debuted a merchant services terminal, still in a conceptual form and not for sale, that collects and counts bulk cash deposits, recognizing different denominations. The machine also dispenses the cash it collects, thereby reducing maintenance.
"We need to offer coin dispensing if we take it into production," said Johan Jubbega, marketing manager for NCR in Scotland.
NCR and Diebold previewed ATM Internet prototypes. Diebold's machine connects via a bank's intranet, a corporate multimedia network that has secure links to the Internet.
"We're showcasing what you could do in the future," said Michael Gandolfo, a Diebold marketing manager. He walked bankers through a scenario where customers withdraw cash, look up stock prices, purchase concert tickets, and find out the latest weather predictions. Showing interest, one Citicorp executive said, "One of our biggest challenges is to be on the Internet."
Fujitsu concentrated on software offerings. Its ATM Graphics Manager allows banks to upgrade programs from a remote location. Rather than sending a technician to service each machine, programs can be loaded through a central data base, saving time and money.
The Custom Application Program enables banks to design personal screen greetings for their customers when they insert their cards into an ATM.
From data bases that track transaction behavior, customers might be greeted by name and asked if they want their usual $40 withdrawal and to see their balance, reducing the time it takes to go through each of those screens.
Banks could even cross-sell to their best customers in a personalized manner. Though it seemed a little like Big Brother was watching, Maura E. Smith, a Fujitsu spokeswoman, said the vendor and its bank customers will be "careful about privacy. Our first interest is what we can do that's of value" to the consumer.