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Where next for ATMs?

By davebirch posted Mar 27 2007 at 10:54 PM

[Dave Birch] According to The Guardian (Friday 9th March, page 29), ATMs are about to change.  As a way of making ATMs even more expensive, Tesco and RBS are about to begin trials of ATMs that dispense euros.  As a way of making ATMs even more annoying, the good people at Bank Machine are planning to offer ATMs that allow customers to download ringtones and print photographs as well as dispense cash.  They say that these new ATMs are perfect for, amongst other places, pubs.  I find this very hard believe: imagine a Newcastle pub at midnight on a Friday, when someone goes to draw some cash out to go clubbing only to find that the person in front of them at the ATM is going through their camera album and printing out a few snaps.

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It makes you wonder where ATMs might actually go next.  Here's an idea for the marketing guys to work with.  As everyone knows, it's the cost of getting cash into virtual environments that puts a floor under the transaction costs in those environment.  But what if you want to attract young people (who don't have payment cards) into a virtual environment (where notes and coins don't work)?  Simple -- let them pay in blood!  The Chinese virtual world ("Cabal") is offering free accounts to player who donate half a litre of blood.  Now, if you could make your deposit at an ATM instead of having go all the way across town to a hospital...

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]


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