The Ultimate in Convenience - Taking Advantage of Financial Services Kiosks
While self-service kiosks have been around for quite some time, they are expanding to become the ultimate in convenience for many people who seek a non-traditional, yet robust, money and bill payment option. These advances are making having a banking account a thing of the past.
At first glance, they might appear to be an ATM; however, they are capable of performing a variety of additional transactions and services, including cashing checks and withdrawing cash, completing money orders, paying bills, and purchasing pre-paid phone, top up, and retail cards. It's estimated that financial services kiosks can help consumers take care of 90 percent of their transactions. Whenever you need to make a financial transaction, the kiosk is ready - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The kiosks accept cash, debit cards, and Bitcoin payments, and include a built-in document scanner and imaging technology which has the capability of taking a picture of a customer or their identification.
The majority of kiosks are located at gas and convenience stores. They can be used to pay smartphone, utility, cable, and other bills, as well as to purchase pre-paid products and services, including long-distance, wireless top-up and mobile content. Many of these services can also be accessed through a phone app. These kiosks provide a low-cost alternative to banks for consumers who would rather use cash.
No More High Fees and The Convenience of Same-Day Payments
Many consumers are tired of paying the high fees that bank charge. Up and coming Millennials are a self-service yourself generation; they are accustomed to using electronic financial methods and many prefer them. Millennials are also heavy users of the web and tend to use their mobile phones more often than the average American for communications with other people and for paying bills. Many financial services kiosks have a database of more than 10,000 billers. The system provides consumers with the ability to make same-day bill payments, an important feature for people who may be tight on funds.
Financial services kiosks are all about integration, using mobile devices to start the bill-pay transaction and a cash-accepting kiosk to finish it. They offer consumers the opportunity to enroll and use a money wallet - which, in turn, opens up access to many more services, such as money transfers using MoneyGram and Western Union. In the past, the fees for sending funds to other countries via traditional currencies were pretty high, but Bitcoin, for example, eliminates any kind of exchange fee issue.
Flexibility in Managing Electronic Wallets
General-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards are popular with mainstream consumers for travel, online shopping, and household budgeting. It's estimated that by 2016, GPR prepaid cards will be a $106 billion industry in the United States alone. Consumers are able to pay for GPR prepaid cards on their mobile device, then pick up and activate the prepaid card at a kiosk, scanning their driver’s license photo to verify their identity.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designed an Electronic Transfer Account (ETA) to eliminate the burden of a consumer having to deposit minimum funds to open an account and maintain an average minimum balance. ETAs protect consumers against the all-to-common prospect of bounced checks and associated charges. ETAs also ensure that individuals who receive federal payments electronically (such as Social Security or disability payments) have access to an account at a reasonable cost (no more than $3 a month) and have the same consumer protections available as other account holders at a traditional bank or financial institution.
Financial services kiosks are a perfect way for consumers to manage their electronic wallet. They are the wave of the future – and a friend to the average American consumer.