How Digital Makes Banks Flexible, Responsive And Intimate

While making digital the main channel of customer engagement, banks are also looking to move beyond business as usual, says Amit Anand, a Vice President in Cognizant Consulting’s Banking and Financial Services.

COVID-19 made online channels indispensable for bank customers, including those who preferred in-person banking. This accelerated their digital strategies and created an opportunity to go beyond the basics and become partners in their customers’ pursuit of financial wellness.

As banks bet big on digital, they are looking at technologies such as AI, advanced analytics, and automation to provide personalization, prediction and speed in creating powerful customer experiences. Banks are also increasingly relying on machines to automate repetitive tasks and make complex decisions, creating demand for human skillsets that complement intelligent machines.

Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, recently surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally, including 287 senior banking and financial services executives to understand how banks are adapting to fast and dramatic changes.

The earliest forms of digital banking trace back to the advent of ATMs and cards launched in the 1960s. As the internet emerged in the 1980s with early broadband, digital networks began to connect retailers with suppliers and consumers to develop needs for early online catalogues and inventory software systems.

By the 1990s the Internet became widely available and online banking started becoming the norm. The improvement of broadband and ecommerce systems in the early 2000s led to what resembled the modern digital banking world today. The proliferation of smartphones through the next decade opened the door for transactions on the go beyond ATM machines. Over 60% of consumers now use their smartphones as the preferred method for digital banking.

The challenge for banks is now to facilitate demands that connect vendors with money through channels determined by the consumer. This dynamic shapes the basis of customer satisfaction, which can be nurtured with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Therefore, CRM must be integrated into a digital banking system, since it provides means for banks to directly communicate with their customers.

There is a demand for end-to-end consistency and for services, optimized on convenience and user experience. The market provides cross platform front ends, enabling purchase decisions based on available technology such as mobile devices, with a desktop or Smart TV at home. In order for banks to meet consumer demands, they need to keep focusing on improving digital technology that provides agility, scalability and efficiency.

Seven Ways to Capitalize on Digital

  1. Institute front-to-back digitization. Banks can effectively compete with fintech competitors by becoming digital institutions.
  2. Explore new customer segments and business paradigms. Digital makes it easier than ever for banks to explore small business segments, even as they pursue existing markets.
  3. Emphasize platform centricity and smart aggregation. Open banking standards can help banks to provide personalized products to customers in collaboration with third-party providers and fintechs.
  4. Invest in personalizing the customer relationship. Banks should use personalized experiences to make customers’ lives as frictionless as possible.
  5. Focus on re-building trust and resiliency. Banks need to eliminate any biases in decisions made by machines.
  6. Enshrine inclusivity into your digital strategy. Banks should use digital to reach customers who are left out by being physically and cognitively challenged.
  7. Balance machine-driven and human-centric work. Create sturdy human-machine collaboration by reevaluating jobs for a shared environment.

For more, read our paper “The Work Ahead in Banking: The Digital Road to Financial Wellness”.

Amit Anand is Vice President and North American Practice Leader for Cognizant Consulting’s Banking and Financial Services. Amit has 20 years of experience with firms such as Accenture, Infosys and Cognizant. He has successfully led and managed large business transformation, digital and IT transformation, and associated organizational change management for several financial services clients. Amit is a recognized thought leader with more than 15 publications on topics such as Open Banking, Digital 2.0 and new-age operating models. He can be reached at

Manish Bahl leads the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. A respected speaker and thinker, Manish has guided many Fortune 500 companies into the future of their business with his thought-provoking research and advisory skills. Within Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, he helps ensure that the unit’s original research and analysis jibes with emerging business-technology trends and dynamics in APAC, and collaborates with a wide range of leading thinkers to understand and predict how the future of work will take shape. He most recently served as Vice President, Country Manager with Forrester Research in India. He can be reached at

Source: How Digital Makes Banks Flexible, Responsive And Intimate


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What’s The Deal With Bitcoin ATM and How Does A Bitcoin ATM Work?

What is a Bitcoin ATM, and does it actually function as an ATM? The short answer is yes.

Technically, these aren’t traditional ATM’s (Automatic Teller Machines) as they do not allow physical withdrawals of BTC from an account you own. Instead, these machines will enable you to purchase Bitcoin, depending on the specific machine. There are a number of machine types around from various companies, the top 3 being: General Bytes, Genesis Coin, and Lamassu.

  1. You verify your identity through an one-time-password sent to your mobile or email. Again, this varies from machine to machine.
  2. You decide if you want to buy or sell BTC (if you have the option).
  3. To buy, you must choose the amount you want to in terms of BTC or your target fiat currency.
  4. You then deposit the fiat currency into the machine.
  5. Several things may happen depending on the machine:
  • A QR code may appear on the screen for you to scan
  • A QR code may be printed off corresponding to your new BTC wallet.
  • The machine will ask and scan the QR code of your pre-existing wallet.
  • You input your email address to have a QR code sent to you.

To sell, you must send the appropriate amount of BTC to the address displayed on the screen. Once the transaction is confirmed, you will receive the agreed fiat sum. How long this takes depends on the machine.

Bitcoin ATM’s v.s Crypto Exchanges

Bitcoin ATM’s are connected to exchanges. When using one, you are essentially buying or selling your chosen coin on an exchange. However, you’re interacting with a physical machine in a specific location rather than online. The price difference between using an online exchange and an ATM is generally around 5-10%. This means that ATMs cost 5-10% more to buy, and selling means you receive 5-10%.

Despite the premium that must be paid, many are attracted by these machines’ convenience and ease. They allow for a more visual and straightforward financial transaction that most are already familiar with. In addition, machines do not require any confusing registration processes or the need to learn about online trading interfaces.

When selling through an online exchange like Phemex, the platform’s spot markets offer more control over the price you are transacting with. You can also take advantage of limit orders and stop orders if you are not happy with current market prices.

Bitcoin ATM Map

There are many services and locations apart from bitcoin ATMs which provide exchange of bitcoins for cash and vice versa.You can send cash-to-cash payments to your relatives or friends in other countries by using two bitcoin ATMs. Find where to buy or sell bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies through ATMs for cash here…


Source: Bitcoin ATM’s: How Does A Bitcoin ATM Work? – Phemex Blog



“FINTRAC Advisory regarding Money Services Businesses dealing in virtual currency”. Retrieved 2016-11-22.

Plastic Powers On, Setting Payments Record In 2019, Raising Fears For Cash


Figures released today provide further evidence of the UK’s rapid transition to a cashless society, with debit and credit cards accounting for over half (51%) of all payments for the first time in 2019.

According to UK Finance, the trade body for financial institutions, debit cards were the most-used method with 17 billion payments, of which 7 billion were contactless. An estimated 98% of the adult population has a debit card.

Credit card use rose 7% in 2019 to 3.3 billion payments, of which 1.3 billion were contactless.

Cards over cash

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of cards, with many retailers declining cash or stating they prefer contactless payments for hygiene reasons. The limit for contactless payments was raised from £30 to £45 in April to allow this method to be used more often.

While cash payments fell by 15% to 9.3 billion in 2019, it was still the second most frequently used method, representing 23% of all payments in 2019.

So-called remote banking also increased in popularity in 2019, following a well-established trend. UK Finance says over 80% of adults used online banking, mobile banking or telephone banking in 2019 compared to 60% in 2009.

Consumers made over one billion remote banking payments in 2019, the first year this has happened. Across all age groups, 72% use online banking and 50% use mobile banking.

Disadvantaged groups

Concerns have been raised that the flight towards plastic-based payments and the reduction in physical bank branches could disadvantage sections of society that still rely heavily on cash.

John Crossley, head of money at Compare the Market, the price comparison site, said: “The ‘cash is king’ mantra is clearly a thing of the past. Debit cards overtook cash in 2017 to become the most frequently used payment method in the UK. By 2028 cash is expected to account for just 9% of all payments.

“In the rush to ditch notes and coins for plastic cards, it is important the banking sector caters for those who rely on cash for everyday living, including paying bills. Cash remains a lifeline for some elderly and vulnerable people, and it is important cash remains accessible for those who wish to continue using it.”

Risk of alienation

Matt Phillips of Diebold Nixdorf, which designs and manufacturers ATMs, said: “We’re seeing questions around whether the pandemic will propel the UK into being a fully cashless society, but this by no means spells the end for cash.

“We expect usage to pick up again when restrictions ease and eventually lift. Cash is essential in our economy and removing it risks alienating thousands of the country’s most vulnerable households.”

Mr Phillips says there is an appetite across the banking sector to reduce reliance on cash, in part due to the costs of delivering cash services to remote communities. But he says there is a way to balance these challenges: “If banks collaborated more, pooled their resources and accelerated the adoption of cash recycling – where money deposited by customers is automatically verified, sorted and re-used within the ATM – it would bring down their costs and sustain accessibility to cash.”

Stephen Jones of UK Finance acknowledged the potential problems associated with the disappearance of cash: “We are fully aware that not all customers are digitally-enabled, which is why we’re working flat-out to ensure people have access to cash and that everyday banking services remain available to help the country through these difficult times.”

Shopping with cash

Consumer lobby group Which? says vulnerable people risk being left with no way to pay for essential products and services as the coronavirus crisis further accelerates the UK’s shift to a cashless society. It wants government action to ensure the cash system does not collapse.

Looking at behaviors in the pandemic, Which? found that 51% of those shopping for someone else had been paid in cash, highlighting the challenge a cashless society presents for those who are not yet ready or able to make digital payments.

The Which? research also highlighted that one in 10 people have been refused by shops when trying to pay for items with cash in recent weeks. A quarter of those were left unable to purchase the item in question on at least one occasion as they had no alternative means of payment.

In its March Budget, the government said it would introduced legal protections to ensure continued access to cash for as long as people need it.

Which? argues the pandemic means the government’s pledge risks becoming obsolete if current trends continue to go unchallenged. An estimated 10,500 free-to-use cash machines have been removed or replaced with fee-charging machines since 2017.

Link, which manages the UK’s largest cashpoint network, says approximately £1 billion is still being withdrawn from ATMs every week, but the long term trend is one of accelerating decline. It says the current level of cash usage is currently at a level that was not expected for another five years.

Notemachine, an ATM operator, says cash withdrawals have reduced by 45% since the introduction of the lockdown – although it notes the average value withdrawn has increased by 13 per cent.

Support for retailers

In addition to long-term support for cash, Which? wants the government to act urgently to ensure people can continue to use cash to pay for essential goods and services during the pandemic. This would include supporting retailers to accept cash and offering guidance on how to handle banknotes and coins safely.

Gareth Shaw at Which? said: “It’s vital that the already fragile cash system is not left to collapse completely as the UK’s shift to a cashless society accelerates.

“The government must urgently press ahead with the legislation it has already committed to before it becomes obsolete, as failure to do so risks excluding millions of people from engaging in the economy.”

Figures from the Bank of England show that people in the UK repaid £7.4 billion of consumer credit in April, double the repayment in March, which itself was a record.

Some £5 billion of repayments were on credit cards, with £2.4 billion of other loans also repaid in April.

According to James Fairclough at AA Financial Services, 85% of UK adults have spent less during the lockdown, with savings achieved on holidays, eating out, shopping and buying petrol: “Coronavirus is impacting our livelihoods, family wellbeing and the economy at large. There are doubts over when the restrictions will be lifted and, for many, what the impact may be on job security.

“Given this economic uncertainty, it is understandable that many people are planning to use any surplus money they accumulate from reduced spending in lockdown to top up rainy day savings, or clear debts.”

I am the UK editor for Forbes Advisor. I have been writing about all aspects of household finance for over 30 years, aiming to provide information that will help readers make good choices with their money. The financial world can be complex and challenging, so I’m always striving to make it as accessible, manageable and rewarding as possible.



Here’s Why Dan Believes Only Idiots Use Debit Cards And Why Credit Cards Are Better. If You Want To Reach Financial Success So You Don’t Have To Worry About Money, Click Here To Get Your Best High-Income Skill: You’re probably wondering, “Should I use debit cards or credit cards to maximize my financial potential?” Well, in this video, Dan Lok is going to be straightforward with you as to why he believes only idiots use debit cards, and why credit cards are better. If you liked this video and want to see more like this one, hit the “like” button and comment below. 👇 SUBSCRIBE TO DAN’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL NOW 👇…

Tennessee-based BitKing LLC, a Bitcoin ATM provider

Tennessee-based BitKing LLC, a Bitcoin ATM provider who started operating last November with just one machine in downtown Memphis, has suffered their first burglary. After the story went viral on Reddit, Cryptoinvest reached out to Sean Pezeshk, the company’s primary operator, for more information..

These ‘Biometric Blockchain ATMs’ Scan Your Face to Fight Dark Web Card Fraud

Cutting-edge blockchain ATM prototypes are being rolled out in Saudi Arabia with a unique take on granting users access to funds. The ATMs use biometric scanners to scan the face of each account holders….

Why Need Real ATMs for “Unreal” Money?

Over the last three years, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs has increased by 700%. This is indicated by data from the DRIVE Markets exchange. According to the company’s research, on January 1, 2016, 501 automatic teller machines for digital coins were in operation, and in 2019, the figure has reached 4,128. Experts believe this trend is related to the growing popularity and confidence in the crypto industry and the simplicity and accessibility of the devices compared to digital assets exchanges…………….

Source: Why Need Real ATMs for “Unreal” Money?

Six New Cryptocurrency ATM Machines Installed Every Day in 2018


Although it has been a sketchy year for crypto in terms of price fluctuations, the number of cryptocurrency ATM machines in the world has doubled in 2018 to over 4,000. Crypto prices might be up and down quicker than a manic depressive, but wider adoption gets closer and closer. The figures come from data published by the crypto analytics firm Data Light and show a massive upward trend in the installation of cryptocurrency ATM machines this year. One of the most startling figures to come from the Data Light statistics is that six cryptocurrency ATM machines were installed per day on average in 2018. One of the main ingredients of wider crypto integration and adoption is the availability of crypto for the masses, and that is exactly what the increase in ATMs shows. Read more……



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