Diebold Nixdorf is a well-known provider of ATMs, but in an increasingly cashless economy it needs to apply its expertise in new ways.

Much like Amazon is experimenting with new and varied ways to keep delivered packages secure, Diebold developed a smart locker that will lock up items until the recipient comes along to retrieve them with a smartphone app, biometrics technology, cash or a card to pick up goods they’ve paid for.

“The idea is to bring Diebold’s capabilities in hardware, software and service together with the evolving needs of retail and financial services,” said David Kuchenski, director of business development for design and technology innovation at Diebold.

David Kuchenski, director of business development for design and technology innovation at Diebold.
Evolving the ATM
“The idea is to bring Diebold’s capabilities in hardware, software and service together with the evolving needs of retail and financial services,” said David Kuchenski, director of business development for design and technology innovation at Diebold.

Retail is the most likely industry where Fusion may find use, but banks could adapt the concept as an alternative to safety deposit boxes or holding items securely for sales in the sharing economy, Kuchenski proposed.

“The underlying concept of the ATM can be applied to Fusion, in that it can be ubiquitous, very secure, and has a track record of a very low fraud rate with PIN-secured card access that can be translated to new authentication methods,” he said.

Fusion consists of a set of flexible units that can be linked together for the omnichannel commerce environment, Kuchenski said. No banks or retailers have signed on yet with Fusion, but several have showed interest in the platform, which can be configured in numerous ways for different purposes, he said.

For too long ATM makers have focused on technology driving the user experience, and Diebold is now looking ahead to see how the demands of the mobile and e-commerce experience can inform its technology, according to Kuchenski.

Fusion can authenticate customers via passwords, biometrics, sound or touch. The locker can be connected to other units that may dispense cash, accept deposits, handle orders or simply provide power and networking capabilities, he said.

In addition to holding e-commerce deliveries, Diebold has imagined several other use cases that include stashing food deliveries for residents of high-density housing areas, dispensing concert or movie tickets or safeguarding valuables.

Fusion had been in development for months before Amazon disclosed plans to develop technology to deliver items to consumers’ cars or into their homes, according to Kuchenski. Amazon deployed its own lockers for deliveries starting in 2011.

“Amazon shows a great willingness to disrupt existing business models, and we see an opportunity to be part of it by combining our ability to store and dispense items using the most advanced software, data and bank-grade security,” he said.

Diebold’s Fusion idea definitely is a step in the same direction Amazon has tested with BBVA of delivering merchandise to lockers inside bank branches, said Brian Riley, director of card services at Mercator Advisory Group.

“These ideas would serve a growing number of consumers who don’t want to wait at home for deliveries at a precise moment in time, and it's particularly good for millennials who live in multi-family housing units and don’t want their purchases sitting until they return from work,” Riley said.

For either Amazon or Diebold to succeed with in-branch deliveries, banks would need to see some value to getting consumers into its branches for non-banking purposes. “But Diebold’s long-term role in physical security could certainly add some street cred to the process,” Riley said.

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