How we designed an ATM of the future at the first LB* hackathon

How we designed an ATM of the future at the first LB* hackathon

In LB* we have been considering a hackaton for a long time. It's a great way to connect the whole team, find a challenge and devote 100% of your imagination to finding potential solutions.

Our goal was to find a suitable UX problem, to define it correctly and to come up with a solution in the scope of a minimum viable product (MVP). This means building the most basic prototype, however imperfect, that would allow us to test our idea. However, as we saw later, creating an MVP in a single day requires a really hellish pace.


What was our challenge, then? We decided to focus on the banking sector, where there is still much room for improvement. We called a few qualified people from real banks to tell us about their customers and their problems. This is how we designed the design challenge, which reads:

How to redesign ATMs so that customers prefer them instead of visiting branches?

Starting point

From the very beginning we worked with there assumptions:

  • for banks, serving customers via digital banking is more efficient than via branches,
  • it is much more convenient for customers, too.

To understand why people still go to branch offices, we've invited a few key employees from a big slovak bank for an interview. Together we identified these 4 hypothesis why customers don’t use self-service:

  • They are afraid they will go wrong and lose money.
  • Their trust in employees at a branch is stronger than trust in technology.
  • They don't use a computer.
  • They need to deposit cash or pay their bills.


When designing the solution, we were divided into 3 teams, each looking at the issue from a different angle (functionality, usability and emotions).

Together we created and discussed dozens of different ideas until we came up with the functional concept of the next-generation ATM. Ladies and gentlemen, meet LB* ATM Beta!

LB* ATM Beta


In order for customers to be willing to deal with their personal finances in public space, they must have a sense of privacy. The classic design of ATMs facing the street is not ideal. We were inspired by the Spanish banking group BBVA, which turned their ATMs by 90° and enclosed them with a side wall to ensure the feeling of privacy. The customer's bad feeling of being watched should be radically reduced with this design.

Logging in

LB* ATM uncompromisingly simplifies the customer experience, including the way of logging in. Except of the credit card, all you need is your face. Identifying with a face scan is no longer science fiction, and legislative shouldn't be a problem to enforce. As a result, you only need to enclose the card to the reader and the ATM will verify you before you can put the card back in your wallet.

Simple payments

Paying your bills couldn't be any easier. Simply insert an invoice or bill into the scanner below the screen and the ATM will automatically scan all payment information. The customer will review it on screen and confirm the payment. The whole operation takes up to one minute and there is always a telephone support available directly from the ATM cubicle. The payment can be withdrawn from the customer's account or deposited in cash.


The quality of the user experience and the upsell of new products may seem incompatible at first glance. After all, according to a survey by, up to 14% of bank customers have identified the retailers who are pushing too hard as the biggest obstacle to visiting branches.

With the LB* ATM, we wanted to design an upsell that is not annoying users and even improves their experience. For example, when interacting with the ATM, personalized clickable tips and offers appear in different places and allow immediate handling of the request. For example, if according to credit card records the customer travels often, the ATM will offer them a discounted travel insurance or credit card.


We can all agree that ATMs are not very friendly. The metal machines without a soul simply do not enchant anyone with a smile on their faces. To make LB* ATM at least a little human, we made it more personal and personalized.

Not only it gives the user some basic information, but it also actively converse with them. It calls the user their first name, wishes a nice day and recommends not to forget the umbrella on a rainy day, for instance. Various visual elements, icons, animations and micro-interactions complete the experience.


A high-quality UX should ensure that the user does not get stuck anywhere. However, he should still be able to ask for help if needed. For simple problems, a FAQ-style chat bot will be available, but the customer can also contact a call center employee directly at any time. An alternative to this call can be an FAQ-style audio chat where bot answers the most frequently asked questions.

What’s next?

Digital self-service is not the solution for everything, but we can certainly agree that it can make life easier for both users and businesses. The combination of internet banking and smart ATMs has the potential to largely outdo branches, so they can be reduced and more specialized in complex operations such as mortgages, investing, etc.

However, do not take any of these conclusions too seriously, they are only our solutions based on many hypotheses. But be sure to tell us what you think of them.


Michal Blažej

Usability expert and NN/g UX certificate holder co-founded and runs the UX studio LB *. Together with 40 colleagues, he helps globally important companies create understandable products and services.

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