One of the things that continues to surprise me about many banks’ multi-channel strategies is how little most banks have integrated their ATMs into those strategies. Cash machines are by far the most commonly used banking channel. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data, 74% of adults in Western Europe use a cash machine at least once a month, far more than use either branches or online banking that often.

Despite the introduction of Windows-based operating systems and colour screens, most banks aren’t doing much to engage customers on this most-frequent touchpoint. Most do little more than promote the product of the month to all comers. Only a few leaders, like Singapore’s OCBC Bank and Spain’s La Caixa, have integrated ATMs into their CRM systems, which lets them do clever things like remembering customer’s normal withdrawal amount, wishing customers a happy birthday and making products offer that are relevant to that particular customer.

HSBC's Travelling abroad? ATM security campaign. This morning I saw a sign that HSBC is starting to think a bit harder about how it can use ATMs to engage its customers. HSBC is running an educational campaign on its ATMs, encouraging visitors to let their card issuers know when they are planning to travel abroad and providing a link to for more information. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the cross-channel execution then falls down. Instead of providing further information about protecting your card from fraud, or a way for HSBC customers to notify the bank that they are about to travel abroad, the Web site link only provides information about online security with no reference to the ATM campaign. Disappointing.

What good examples of banks making smarter use of their ATMs have you seen?