Written by Beth Hildreth on May 25, 2013
Categories: Industry Articles

Some of the nation’s banks are deciding to give their ATM services a facelift, incorporating modern technology in order to provide more convenience to their customers while at the same time saving money internally.

If you’ve ever had to rush to the bank and showed up a few minutes late, you’re familiar with how frustrating banking hours can be. To combat this, some banks have added video conferencing and instant messaging services to their ATMs, making them more versatile in their offerings. These banks understand that customers want to do their banking on their own schedules and suggest that these upgraded ATMs will enable customers to complete about 80 percent of their banking transaction needs.

To provide that flexibility for customers, Bank of America has already started rolling out its new iterations of ATMs open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, so those wishing to conduct their banking business are able to do so outside of normal banking hours, while still talking face-to-face with a banking teller if need be. These tellers will be stationed somewhere remotely, likely in a location that makes the most financial sense to the banking institution. To connect with them, users will simply press a button on the ATM, though routine banking transactions can still be completed without the assistance of a teller.

On average, banks pay tellers about $1.25 to conduct business through an ATM. The same business conducted inside with a teller costs $4.25. While adding to an ATM’s capabilities will probably cause the $1.25 figure to rise, it will also allow banks to downsize their staffs, saving money over the long haul.

People don’t want to wait, and improving ATM functions is one way to make sure they don’t. It’s hard to imagine getting rid of tellers altogether, but should the trend of implementing video conferencing solutions continue, banks wouldn’t have to necessarily operate the larger branches to which we’ve grown accustomed, as more and more customers would be able to use machines and talk to tellers at their convenience.