Why You May Soon Be Talking to Your ATM

by Jessica Sommerfield · 2 comments

The world of banking has come a long way since the original days of brick-and-mortar establishments. It’s now possible to do your banking from the comfort of your home, potentially without ever stepping foot into a bank.

Although it seems as if banking technology couldn’t evolve any farther than ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking apps, it has and will probably continue to. Soon, the entire banking world will be rocked with the introduction of the newest in ATM technology: teller-assisted ATMs.

The Interactive Teller, recently introduced by NCR, allows bank customers the ideal combination of ATM convenience with the personal service and wider capabilities of a human teller.

Now at 350 machines in operation throughout the country, NCR is expecting this technology to take off and become widely available within the next year or so. The feedback on both customer and bank satisfaction has been extremely positive.

Here are a few of the features that make the Interactive Teller a must-have advancement for banks moving forward:

The Benefits for Customers

We already know that ATMs are convenient for necessary on-the-road, after-hour, and weekend bank transactions, but ATM capabilities are limited. Until now, you had to choose which inconvenience you preferred — standing in line at the bank, or having limited transaction choices.

For instance, most ATM withdrawals can only be performed in $20 increments and delivered in $20 bills. With teller-assist technology, you’ll be able to request various amounts in smaller bills of your choosing (as you could do at a bank). Secondly, deposits made into ATMs can take a few days to post since they only take effect during normal business hours. With virtual assistance, ATM deposits take effect immediately.

Also, if you’ve lost or don’t currently have your ATM card, the Interactive Teller can verify your identity and access your account by your driver’s license. These are just a few specific examples of the wider capabilities available because of human-assisted electronic transactions.

If you don’t need to speak with a person while using an Interactive Teller, you don’t have to. The function to speak with a teller is a function turned on or off by the user.

The Benefits for Banks

Banks that have switched over to Interactive Tellers have been able to replace on-site staff, eliminating the need for bankers hours and allowing for longer interactive banking hours — since tellers don’t have to commute or close for lunch.

Building space can be downsized or eliminated, a huge cut to expenses. Perhaps the best result is the virtual elimination of the potential for robberies. This suggests the possibility of lower insurance costs and other money-storage, security, and transport- related expenses — huge concerns for banks.

The Bottom Line

Whenever technology arises which eliminates or reduces human interaction, criticisms abound. Far from the potential negative effect of lessening personal customer service, many institutions believe Interactive Tellers will build a stronger bond between themselves and their account holders.

People who would otherwise exclusively use ATMs or online banking due to the convenience may become more acquainted with their tellers. This, in turn, builds stronger trust and more satisfied customers who are less likely to take their business elsewhere.

While this technology is still fairly new, you shouldn’t be surprised when you see it arriving soon in mainstream banking institutions. Our culture is becoming more and more embracing of technological advancements that increase our productivity, cater to our lifestyles, and move us forward in all areas of life.

Have you used an interactive ATM? What’d you think? 

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  • hannah says:

    that is just strange! While this eliminates robberies of a physical bank, it will only increase bad guy’s determination to hack people’s accounts and commit identity theft.

  • Unfortunately, the thieves will come up with new ways to hijack your bank account and empty your account. Sometimes it’s good to be able to go into a bank and have a private conversation with a banker and not through a vending machine.

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