Could People Replace ATMs?

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A new technology could supersede both in-person service and ATMs within the next year. Is this the future of banking?

Giving up ATMs sounds like a step backward, but what if we upgraded them to ITMs — interactive teller machines?

Banking tech company NCR has developed video-equipped teller machines, NBC News says, and already has 350 in service. Raleigh, N.C.-based Coastal Federal Credit Union is an early adopter and has moved its teller jobs off-site. Now all 15 of its branches have only these machines, which are remotely operated by the tellers. Here are some of the benefits:

  • The machines operate as regular ATMs, including during “closed” hours, unless customers request live service.
  • ITMs can cash checks and provide the denominations you want, instead of all twenties.
  • They’re faster than counter service, because the machine does all the counting.
  • ITM deposits clear more quickly because tellers can verify them in real time.
  • They allow for longer hours. CFCU now operates 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • They reduce robberies.

Bank of America is testing machines with on-screen tellers in Boston and Atlanta, and plans to add many more through 2014. They could see widespread use within a year at a variety of banks, NCR vice president Brian Bailey told NBC News.

What do you think of ITMs? Would you rather talk to someone in person, or have quicker transactions and longer hours? Do you think teller jobs will eventually be outsourced like many customer service lines? Share your opinion on our Facebook page.

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