Growing Interest in Bitcoin Functionality for Existing ATMs

Most people automatically assumed that creating Bitcoin ATM’s would increase awareness and adoption of our disruptive digital currency. Even though there are a few hundred Bitcoin ATM’s deployed all over the world, it doesn’t seem to impact adoption at all. But do people actually like – or really dislike – digital currency ATM’s? Let’s find out.

Growing Interest in Digital Currency

According to a recent survey published by ATM Marketplace – called “ATM Future Trends 2015” – over 10% of the interviewees want to see virtual currency exchange capabilities added to existing ATMs. Whether or not that number surprises you is irrelevant, as it shows that over one in ten people want to dabble around with Bitcoin and other currencies.

You may be wondering which demographic is most keen on seeing support for virtual currency exchanging on existing ATM’s. The answer should not be a surprise to you either, as it is the younger demographic. These are the people who grew up in a world full of technology and who are among the first to keep pace with the rate at which technology evolves.

Granted, there is a growing interest for Bitcoin support on existing ATM’s. However, eleven percent doesn’t necessarily warrant the investment – in terms of time, effort and money – to explore the option of adding digital currency functionalities. According to the ATM Marketplace report, we might be having a different conversation in 2018.

And that also begs the question: “Do people want to see virtual currency functionalities added to existing ATM’s because it is the current hip trend?” People have very short attention spans these days, and most of the consumers hop from one “hot thing” to the next without giving it a second though. Is digital currency the current “hot thing”, and if so, will it stay that way for years to come?

Regardless of the percentages to be found in the study conducted by ATM Marketplace, Bitcoin, and other digital currencies will not replace cash [anytime soon]. In fact, most people want to improve the existing cash functionalities associated with using an ATM, such as being able to withdraw funds in multiple denominations.

Checks Are Still Popular

Many countries around the world still deal in checks, especially when it comes to paying bills or receiving your wage. However, in countries such as Belgium, the usage of checks has been abandoned many years ago. Granted, there is still a form of “bank check” we use over here, but anything other than that is done either by cash or wire transfer.

In the United States and Canada, however, a lot of payments are still being done via checks. And that also shows in the ATM Marketplace study, as over 40% of interviewees want to add a “check cashing” functionality to existing ATM’s. This just goes to show you that studies like this can be taken out of context easily, as the results in Europe would be far different in that area.

ATM Providers Leaning Towards Digital Currency

One of the things I like about this ATM Marketplace study is the fact they also asked the same question to the ATM providers. Surprisingly, 19% of the interviewees want to see virtual currency exchange capabilities implemented in the near future. Despite that higher percentile, it was still the least favorite choice, unfortunately.

A lot of ATM providers want to give people the option to pay their bills while using an ATM – which will undoubtedly cause quite a waiting queue. However, they also see eye-to-eye with the consumers in regards to withdrawing cash in multiple denominations, which is one of the features more likely to be implemented over the next few years.


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