What is a Self-service kiosk?

Self-servicing and changing customer behavior

Use cases

  • Government usage — The major example for the government use cases is the immigration kiosks and exit kiosks established by the government of a country for the visitors to register when they enter or leave the country. Self-check in and check-out systems and visitor management kiosks are implemented in various government sectors. Besides, smart city and government kiosks are implemented to provide upgraded infrastructure including wayfinding, generic notifications/alerts, VoIP calling, and even searching function. They help in boosting online government services including eGov services.
Wayfinding kiosks at public terminals
  • Industrial usage — Different industries including airlines, retail, and hospitality make use of kiosks with business models specific to their verticals. All these kiosks are used for purchase transactions or for providing the customer access to menus, inventory availability, travel plans, and more.
Self-service kiosks used in travelling industry
  • Entertainment usage — Leisure centers, gyms, and amusement parks make use of self-service technology for check-in and payment processes for anything that requires a session payment. The ticketing kiosks act as a quick way to access all these services. The services provided by these self-service terminals eliminate the need for attendants in all these areas.
Self-service kiosks at leisure centers

Different types of self-service kiosks and their applications

  • Self-service kiosks in healthcare
    Self-service kiosks at hospitals allow patients to check-in for their scheduled appointments in a matter of seconds. Wherever the patients must make a payment, self-service machines can make it for them greatly relieving the workloads of hospital administrators. Such kiosks can also convey personalized messages to the patients which allows them to improve their health conditions. These terminals also let customers book appointments or request a refill. The self-care dispensing and self-care diagnostic kiosks help dispense simple medicines without the assistance of a clinician and conduct simple diagnostic tests.
  • Self-service kiosks in travel and hospitality
Self check-in at hotel
  • Self-ordering kiosks at restaurants
Self-ordering kiosks at restaurants
  • Self-service kiosks in banking
    Self-service kiosks at banks, wealth management companies, insurance companies, and other financial institutions help customers to perform transactions without the need for face-to-face interaction with the staff. The service includes online banking, balance checking, opening new accounts, reviewing investment portfolios, fixing appointments with the personal banker, PIN activation, loan application, money order, check cashing and even dispensing cash cards. These multi-function financial service kiosks allow finding other financial products including mortgages, saving accounts, or insurance. They provide customers with the flexibility to manage their accounts anytime even outside the banking hours.
  • Self-service kiosks in retail
Self-service kiosks at retail stores
  • Self-service kiosks at theatres
Ticketing kiosks at movie theatres
  • Self-service kiosks at offices
    Employee self-service kiosks have a list of benefits when used within any business environment. Document printing and scanning kiosks can help HRs in need of a printing solution. The visitor management and security kiosk can manage the visitor check-in process at the business. The HR self-service kiosks at offices help in finding out payroll, employee shift or timing information, employee training materials, appointment scheduling, and upcoming events without the need for direct interaction with the HR department. The wayfinding and directory kiosks help in checking the availability of meeting rooms and locating employees within the office building.

Self-service kiosks to fight the COVID’19 pandemic

Self payment kiosk
  • Eliminating the need for person-to-person interaction
    Close proximity and physical contact are sure to escalate the chance for exposure and therefore using self-service kiosks in any industry can help in mitigating the risk. Self-check in kiosks helps in preventing the transmission of disease from the long queues at the reception desks. POS and bill payment kiosks prevent passing back and forth of credit cards and other payment modes which can act as another virus transmitter.
  • Helps in maintaining user confidence
Ticketing kiosks
  • Specialized kiosks to prevent virus transmission and the spread of COVID’19
    There are different self-service terminals built specifically to meet COVID’19 safety requirements. Self-service machines with temperature recognition technologies kept at the door of different stores/hotels help to screen people based on their body temperatures and allow only those with normal temperature conditions to check-in. Temperature screening when integrated with the face recognition system will allow those employees with normal body temperature to swipe-in to the office premises. Payment devices have face pay services to allow payment without touching a panel. Besides, there are hand sanitizer vending machines and face mask dispensing terminals for meeting the sanitization requirements of the time.

Know the PROs and CONs

Self-service kiosk terminal for wayfinding
  • Self-service kiosk act as a line-busting solution which grants the full control over buying and payment decisions to the customers.
  • Self-ordering shortens wait times and free up sale staffs for other business critical tasks or personalized customer services.
  • Self-ordering increases accuracy by eliminating errors occur while transferring written orders.
  • In all sectors where they’re employed, self-service terminals provide enhanced customization to provide the full list of modifiers and personalization to cater it according to the customer needs.
  • As users are completing their own requirements without any other interventions there is a greater chance for increased requirement determination and improved user satisfaction due to the high-value service functions.
  • Self-service machines are always open and available and can essentially replace many of the human workers and facilitate a speedier workflow all of which contribute to resource savings for the businesses.
  • Self-service systems can act as a multi-purpose terminal — the same point performing the billing and payment services for instance and thereby ensure that more people are served in a small span of time resulting in related profits for the businesses and a better experience for the customers.
  • Self-service kiosks are easily adaptable and customizable as they can be updated at any time with the latest technologies without the need to replace the whole system.
  • Self-service machines can’t replace workers in many areas. They can’t take the place of staff stocking shelves, assisting customers, and answering their queries.
  • You’ll need staff on hand to troubleshoot tech issues and maintain kiosk health.
  • Self-service systems in some cases draw away workers from their primary duties.
  • Poor integration of kiosks to the business system and exposure to the general public can result in a lack of security of unattended systems.
  • Lack of proper analysis and planning will result in inefficient and costly systems.
  • Lack of knowledge of kiosks technologies will result in frustrated customers.
  • Occasional technical failure and downtime are inevitable for such systems and constant maintenance is needed.
  • RFID-based check-in machines and EMF exposure can cause adverse effects on human health.
  • Sometimes technologies build on a set of rules can result in disappointment and lack of social interaction among the people. Technologies aren’t flexible enough to understand specialized user requirements and in such cases, human assistance is vital.

Deployment considerations

Self check-in at airports
  • Make sure that your kiosks have the custom features your targeted customers seek for.
  • Consider the working environment before choosing the kiosk model. If they are to be operated in hazardous conditions or high traffic environments, consider using ruggedized devices and enclosures.
  • Make a list of the additional peripherals required for the proper functioning of the kiosks.
  • Check if the investment will be financially viable and consider choosing the most cost-effective solution that will work across different sectors and purposes.
  • Choose the appropriate model according to the complexity of tasks the self-service kiosk needs to carry out and consider planning for the right management strategy.
  • Take advantage of the kiosk-specific security that third-party kiosk management solutions offer.

The Hexnode kiosk software

The future of self-service kiosks



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Hexnode MDM is an award winning Enterprise Mobility Management vendor which helps businesses to secure and manage BYOD, COPE, apps and content.