Cash machines are as dirty as public toilets!
March 22, 2017, Chennai
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The ATM, as an Automated Teller Machine, performs the transactions of a teller. A teller, as we know, interacts between the bank and the customer. No customer wants to deal with a slovenly-looking teller, let alone one who is not clean. As we were all taught when we were children.
We should not forget ATM transactions are interactions with real, live individuals.
We should see ATM transactions as living transactions, not as “dead” ones, even though they are automated. Speaking of interaction, let us return to the importance of keeping ATMs clean.
This aspect of ATM hygiene is only going to increase in importance going forward because cleanliness is part of a wider, growing environmental awareness on the part of today’s citizens, as well as being associated with positive customer interactions.
The picture shown above is from an ATM at OMR, Chennai. Microbiologists have shown computer keyboards and, by implication, ATM keypads, often contain a high degree of bacteria. (over two-thirds of ATM machine keypads examined were contaminated with some bacteria) Cleanliness tests have revealed that cash machines are as dirty and carry the same germs as public toilets.
Experts took swabs from the numeric key pads on a string of ATMs which are used by thousands of shoppers every day. They then took similar swabs from the seats of nearby public toilets and compared the bacteria under microscopes in a lab. The swab were left to grow overnight and samples from both locations were found to contain pseudomonads and bacillus, bacterias which are known to cause sickness and diarrhoea. Surprisingly, the ATM machines were shown to be heavily contaminated with bacteria; to the same level as nearby public toilets.
It is a right of the customer to have a good ambience and we should complain at the right level to get the good experience. It is a duty of the company to give the best experience to its customers. Regular cleaning of the interface of the ATM will enhance both the visual impression of the machine and the underlying trust invested by customers. As a reward for this best practice, we know a happy customer always returns!