Blurring the lines between ATM and Teller, Bank of America announced today that their next generation ATMs would combine the ease and functionality of an ATM with the knowledge and personal touch of a teller. Using real-time video, customers can speak with bank clerks remotely, allowing for increased flexibility and service as customers can ask questions late into the night when traditionally bank branches would be closed.
“We know that customers want to bank on their schedule – not ours – so we are constantly looking at how to deliver more convenient banking options to them,” said Katy Knox, Retail Banking and Distribution executive at Bank of America in the announcement. She continued, “This technology gives customers easy, convenient access to ATM banking services with the added option of having a personal interaction and the support of a teller available at the push of a button.”
Beginning in Boston, the ATMs will be deployed across the country over the course of 2013 and will be strategically placed in drive up and remote locations, thus providing the “a branch without a branch” experience to more areas. While the new ATMs will have all the traditional ATM functions, they will also feature new options (which will be turned on in the near future) including, depositing checks with cash back, splitting a deposit into two or more accounts and making loan or credit card payments.
The push by Bank of America is part of a wider industry move to bring down the cost of branch banking (which has declined in popularity among the public) but simultaneously provide a richer, more innovate banking experience to keep customers interested. While only time will tell on the success of the new ATMs, the decision by Bank of America puts them on the forefront of customer service in the ATM medium.