The most exciting sporting event of the year is less than 2 days away. The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics kicks off tomorrow and the whole world is eagerly anticipating how the event will unfold.
Millions of people are flocking to the capital to witness the historic occasion and even more will be tuning in online and on the TV to watch from the comfort of their own homes. With so many spectators visiting the city, the Government has had to upgrade all its technologies to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Countries from around the world will be watching our every move; how well we can organise such a huge event and deal with any upcoming issues. Touch screen technology has been deployed in various sectors in the UK to boost operations and staff efficiency but how are the Games making the most of the equipment?
The Games has had a huge impact on ATMs in London. Many news outlets report that some have run out of money already, or had server problems. Some reports indicate that tourists are finding themselves in long queues and the capacity of travellers has exceeded the number of ATMs.
The U.K.’s Payment Council has advised overseas visitors to withdraw cash before arriving to the country and have backup plans in case credit cards are rejected. But elsewhere, fans are being left without cash as some ATMs at venues are replaced with Visa-only machines. Visa’s exclusivity as a sponsor is forcing many ATMs to close, so they only run on their own system.
All this is bad publicity for the country.
With so many people clustering onto the capital, restaurants across the city are expected to reap millions in extra revenue. Touch screen kiosks can help reduce queues by allowing customers to self-service their own food and drinks and make payment without assistance from a human. This will definitely help towards easing backlogs of orders.
Thousands of visitors will need accommodation, so the hotel industry will benefit from increased profits. Reception kiosks can help check sightseers in and out speedily, without the need of a staff member. Foreigners will be coming from all over the world and arriving at various times, including in many cases in the middle of the night. A kiosk works 24/7 so it can check people in whatever time of day they reach the destination.
Various UK airports have deployed touch screen technology to improve passenger processing. Birmingham airport installed some of Protouch’s kiosks to introduce an express lane that made checking-in and ticket dispensing faster. Millions of passengers will be passing through airports across the country and touch screen technology can help to limit queues and passport control.
Shops around the capital will benefit from millions in extra revenue. Overseas visitors will want to experience London’s shopping facilities and touch screen kiosks can help. The wayfinding features will prove valuable in shopping centres, as thousands of shoppers will not know their way around the city. Kiosks can also help as consumers can browse online products in-store.
The issue of man vs. machine has been debated about across all industries for some time, since touch screen technology was created.
Since kiosks, ATMs, digital signage and touch screen PCs were deployed into banks, retail stores, and hospitals etc. many have argued that the installation has caused demise in staff employment.
But why does one have to choose a man or machine, cannot society have both?
That is one bank in Australia is trying to overcome by offering customers a mix of traditional human services with a teller as well as ATM services.
Bank customers who still want to use a teller but are tired of queuing up will have a faster option by using a video automatic teller machine. The video ATMs are to offer a ‘human touch’ in that they are still machines but that have an automatic link to a teller via a video screen. A teller will be available 24 hours a day to approve loan applications and accept cheque deposits in an aim to help customers and business people who find it difficult to get to a bank branch during the day.
The banking service already uses ATMs to enable a customer to make cash withdrawals but this new technology means that the customer can have both a technological service as well as a human, in one.
The technology takes into account security and the live teller can reportedly spot if a customer had someone behind them attempting to look at the PIN details. Further aspects are that there is no cash lying around on counters.
The video service allows a customer to hold up a form of ID to the scanner and once the live teller has verified the customer’s details, the loan application or cheque deposit is started. A printer feature enables all documents to be printed out, signed and then scanned back into the machine to be approved.
And if an ATM card has been lost, as long as the person has another form of ID, the teller can view it and approve for cash withdrawals.
Touch screen technology reaps tons of benefits to a business as well as the customer but people will always want some form of human interaction.
So why do we have to choose one or the other? Surely we should take advantage of the brilliant technology of a touch screen kiosk of what we have created and use it in conjunction with each other to make an enjoyable and efficient service for all!
Touch screen technology is evident across all sectors and industries and it can be transformed into many appearances from kiosks, monitors, digital signage and PCs.
It can also be converted into ATMs, otherwise known in full as an automated teller machine or more commonly referred to as a cash machine.
A latest survey has revealed that the majority of cardholders protect their PINs and cover the ATM pin pad when keying in the four-numbered digits.
A report by the European ATM Security Team (EAST) in Edinburgh, Scotland showed that 65% of consumers cover the PIN pad protecting their PIN when drawing cash out at a hole in the wall. The online poll found that 23% of cardholders sometimes cover the PIN pad and a worrying 12% of the public never cover the PIN pad, putting themselves at risk of financial fraud.
The poll, which took place between January and March 2011, was undertaken as part of a scheme to educate cardholders to always conceal their pin because it thwarts thieves from using counterfeit copies of cards.
Lachlan Gunn, coordinator of EAST, said: “It is encouraging to see that 65 percent of poll respondents always cover their PIN at an ATM. If you are one of those who never covers his or her PIN, or who does it occasionally, remember that doing this is a top cardholder security tip recommended by EAST and by many other organizations.”
EAST officials recommend that if you cover your PIN you are at least protected against visual compromise. Experts warn that if a magnetic stripe on a card is conceded or skimmed, the criminals need your PIN to maximise fraudulent usage of it.
Gunn added: “Covering one’s PIN at an ATM, or at any other terminal, should be second nature to everyone—after all very few people would hold their wallet or purse open to allow others to easily see how much money they are carrying, so why advertise your PIN?”
Charity is said to be at the heart of every community and thousands of people across Britain donate money to charitable organisations every year.
In 2003 £7.1bn was given to charity by individuals in the UK, according to joint research by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
But offering spare cash to charities has become easier than ever for consumers, with ATMs now providing donation processes.
According to an agreement reached between the ATM industry and government officials, British citizens can make charitable donations through the UK touch screen units. The program, which will launch in 2012, is in partnership between LINK the UK ATM operators and the British authority. It was cabinet officer minister Francis Maude who proposed the scheme in December 2010.
Presently there are 63,000 ATMs in the country and 100-million LINK-enabled cards. The latest plan will mean people can donate to their favourite charity through the interactive machines but each ATM owner will decide which particular charities the machine will support.
Maude said: “I am delighted by the support of LINK’s member banks, building societies and ATM operators for enabling charity donations at cash machines.
“This will make charity giving quicker and easier for so many people as they can incorporate giving into a regular routine.”
Banks which will feature a charity donating kiosk include Lloyds TSB, Barclays, American Express Europe and more.
Give to those who are less fortunate than yourself whether it is RSPCA, Sport Relief or Cancer Research via an ATM; touch screen technology at its best.
When the word church is mentioned thoughts that spring to mind are old-fashioned, traditional, holy and grounded. So the concept of technology, ATMs and touch screen kiosks are not really what you would associate with religion and the Bible.
But it seems the church sector is going all tech-savvy and modernised to keep up-to-date with the 21st century.
Churches in America are deploying ATMs as a quick and easy option for worshippers to pay with their bank cards at “giving-kiosk units”.
Throughout the country kiosks are now located inside the holy buildings to eradicate church-goers writing cheques out, or ministers collecting cash in baskets.
It is estimated around 325 churches nationwide are using the efficient technology; which on a practical level makes sense with reports that we are moving into a more cashless society.
With the “giving kiosk units” a religious believer can donate as much money he or she wants to on Sunday service, with no bars or limits as to how much because of what change they have in their purses.
Many religious establishments are taking it one step further and providing online access to give money, so one does not necessarily have to be on location to donate cash.
A church pastor has argued that the kiosk is the way to go since many people use debit cards nowadays.
Many of the units already deployed include touch screen interfaces, numeric keypads and magnetic strip readers. An internal printer produces a receipt for the consumer and the donation is tax-deductible.
But the design of the kiosks is something to consider; especially as tall floor-standing kiosks may appear out of place alongside the wooden pews and old-style carpets.
Embrace Touch screen technology like the church sector with Protouch; Europe’s number one touch screen manufacturer and distributor.
The majority of consumers would rather bank with a machine rather than a human, with the majority of consumers indicating that they would prefer to conduct banking transactions at their ATM as opposed to traditional face-to-face interaction with the bank worker.
More than 74 per cent of participants agreed they hope one day their ATM will offer all of the functionality and services as their bank teller.
David Hadesty, VP of Product Management for Wincor Nixdorf’s U.S. Banking Division, said automation is no longer a “nice to have” – it is a necessity.
“With results of this survey showing consumers crave more features and functionality at their ATM, the opportunity for banks is obvious – invest in more sophisticated ATM technology that is proven to dramatically reduce cash handling costs at the branch, while freeing up valuable associate time for more critical tasks.”
So it seems the nation today has more trust and likeability in a machine than man, which reflects the growing trend in technology and modern needs and desires.
Consumers prefer to interact and make deposits with a touch screen unit than a flesh-bodied person; what does that say about the 21st century generation?
The survey, by Wincor Nixdorf AG, involved 200 consumers aged 18 to 64, who visited an ATM more than three times a month.
It polled consumers on their knowledge, preferences and trends regarding using an ATM.
The future of ATMS and touch screen technology is an exciting and widely speculated concept but who really knows what it will hold. One thing is for sure though; the bank teller’s role is diminishing.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has sued United Airlines on the claim that their airport kiosks, which use touchscreen technology, cannot be used by blind passengers.
It seems the nation’s oldest organisation of blind people and three blind individuals in California, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
The pressure group alleges that the airline is violating the California Disabled Persons Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act because the services it provides through its’ kiosks are not available to the blind.
The self -service kiosks in which they are arguing about presently provide flight information and allow passengers to check in for flights, print tickets and boarding passes.
The NFB maintain that audio interface, a keyboard or interactive screen reader technology could easily be added to the touchscreens as many other airlines have done.
Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The airline industry has an unfortunate history of discriminating against blind passengers, and now United Airlines is repeating that history by deploying inaccessible technology that we cannot use.”
The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to provide special services for passengers who aren’t physically capable of using kiosks, such as assistance from staff in using the kiosk or allowing the passenger to come to the front of the line at check-in.
In a rebuttal statement, the airline said: “United Airlines is committed to providing quality service to all of our customers and to remaining in full compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
Mike May, CEO of the Sendero Group, a manufacturer of technology for the blind, has supposedly said “it is easy” for United to make its kiosks accessible. He said: ”There is simply no excuse for the long wait and inconvenience that other blind United passengers and I continue to experience at airports.”
We recently reported how Italian banks have installed ATMs that are accessible for the blind and visually impaired in Rome.
Touchscreen technology in the business industry is ever-growing and the supply and need for them is expanding.
Protouch are Europe’s number one manufacturer and distributor of touch screen equipment.
It’s always fascinating to witness new interactive kiosks popping up all over the place for all sorts of industries.
One that caught our eye this week was a new line of vending kiosks marketed by TG-Gold-Super-Markt which will allow people to purchase one to ten gram pieces of gold with a few button pushes.
The first of these new “gold dispensing machines” appeared in Frankfurt in the summer. The company plans to install more in airports and railroad stations across Germany eventually branching out to Switzerland and Austria, according to a Financial Times report.
The current model, with the name “Gold to Go” is nothing more than a striking gold box, but it does have video surveillance and up-to-date pricing. These may never become as commonplace as your standard ATM, but perhaps the design will improve as people become used to purchasing security in little gold nuggets rather than with the Queen’s side-profile on crisp notes.