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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

ATMs get Hollywood makeover at NAC 2019

The National ATM Council Inc. opened its seventh annual convention Oct. 15, 2019, at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Hotel and Convention Center. Themed Celebrating 50 Years of the ATM, the three-day show is focusing on the ATM industry’s next 50 years and beyond, event organizers stated.

In a nod to U.S. ATMs, which turned 50 this year, the conference began with presentations on video gaming kiosks, cash discounting and route management optimization. Day-one presenters shared new ways for independent ATM stakeholders to prosper amid regulatory uncertainties and changing attitudes about cash.

“Fifty years after the first ATM was installed at a Chemical Bank branch in Rockville Centre, New York, manufacturers, service providers and independent ATM deployers remain resilient and innovative,” said Bruce Renard, NAC executive director. “New hardware, software and mobile apps are transforming classic ATMs into dynamic, interoperable technology platforms.”

George Sarantopoulos, NAC chair and CEO at Access One Solutions Inc., added, “Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and mobile payments apps are creating new opportunities in the independent ATM sector. NAC 2019 will explore these trends in workshops, seminars and panel discussions.”

Cash discount is king

Rob Taichman, director of business development and counsel at Access One, and Thomas J. Wheat, sales director at SignaPay subsidiary PayLo, presented cash discounting opportunities. Both agreed cash discounting is a timely and complementary solution for independent ATM providers and their existing customer base.

“I’m tremendously excited about cash discounting,” Wheat said. “It has revitalized the entire merchant services industry.”

In an increasingly homogeneous retail world, cash discount programs can help small and midsize business owners pocket more of their hard-earned revenue, Taichman noted. “It is called a discount because customers have the option of paying cash,” he said. “Today’s consumers are accustomed to paying resort fees and baggage fees, so why should your merchants pay their customers’ convenience fees when they use plastic at their establishments?”

Out-of-box seeing, thinking

Keynote speaker Katarina Stephan presented her TEDx talk, “The Third Eye: How to See in the Absence of Light.” A former ballerina, who is now a pre-med student and emergency medical technician, described how visualization helped her train as a dancer and practice surgical techniques after she lost sight in one eye.

When confined to a wheelchair, Stephan visualized and mentally practiced dance moves, which helped her overcome disabilities and train with Austria’s Salzburg Ballet Co. She later become a teaching assistant at Stanford University School of Medicine and is currently studying medicine at Columbia University.

Stephan challenged audience members to use out-of-box thinking to imagine new possibilities for legacy ATMs, stating that it is not the strongest but the most adaptable who survive. As a member of Generation Z, she lives a mostly cashless lifestyle, using her smartphone as both a communication platform and wallet. “My generation has never known a time without mobile and virtual technology, and our entire lives run on technology,” she stated. end of article

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