Fletcher in the News

Will New ATMs Make Your Bank Branch Obsolete? Postdoc Benjamin Mazzotta Speaks to MarketWatch

Benjamin Mazzotta, Postdoctoral Fellow at The Fletcher School, Tufts University

There are roughly 425,000 ATMs in the U.S., and many of those have already gotten an upgrade—or soon will. On Thursday, Citibank told MarketWatch it will unveil new ATMs in the U.S. that “remember” customer preferences (like language), offer on-page scrolling (as on an iPad), let you check your balance without leaving the screen you’re on, and feature instructions that are more conversational…

… It makes financial sense for banks to do this: “The whole point is to drive down operating expenses,” says Ben Mazzotta, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Business in the Global Context at [The Fletcher School,] Tufts University…

…They may also be used by more people in the future: Euromonitor predicts that ATM transactions will go from about $632 billion in 2013 to $874 billion in 2018. One of the reasons for this growth, says Mazzotta, is that payments from employers and governments to more and more workers will happen via debit card (rather than physical check); those people will need access to ATMs to get this money and move it around. “ATM use will rise,” he says. And so too will its functionality.

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