A kiosk was basically a stand or booth where simple services were provided to the general public. Today’s kiosks perform the same function, what is missing is the presence of a person manning the kiosk. Computers have replaced it to provide certain specific and specialized services.
An interactive kiosk is one where the user gets answers to their queries almost instantly and gets their work done. Most kiosks with computer staff are interactive kiosks. Such interactive kiosks may be for the purpose of providing information or for carrying out several specific transactions for which the computer is programmed.
Interactive kiosks that provide information can be seen at railway stations, airports, bus stations and the like. The latest computers that are used in such kiosks are touch screen kiosks and are very user friendly. The interfaces of the programs served in these kiosks are made to be very simple and user-friendly so that common people do not face any problem in using them. Such interactive kiosks typically provide information on bus, train and flight timetables; information about any delays; a facility to view where a particular bus, train or flight uses GPS systems; and several other related information.
Interactive kiosks which are used to make transactions are put up by the banks. ATM centers are excellent examples of such kiosks. Customer identification is done through the use of user IDs and unique PIN codes. Interactive kiosks, which are set up by banks for use by their customers, are also used for cash withdrawals. The customer can access their bank account through the kiosk and withdraw money from their account. Banks have a system of checks and balances to ensure that no fraudulent funds are used to avail the kiosks.
An upper limit on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn in a single transaction, the number of transactions allowed in a certain period of time, a warning about using a wrong PIN and the like are some of the safeguards put in place.