Why Bank Tellers Won’t Become Extinct Any Time Soon

by Joseph Walent 0

If the nature of something changes fundamentally, is it still that thing? That is to say, in the case of bank tellers, if the type of work and responsibilities the individual are charged with have little to do with undertaking transactions at a the consumer behest, are they really “tellers”? Without going too far down the semantics rabbit-hole, Mercator Advisory Group would contend that while the job title teller will be retained, but the nature of the daily tasks of the teller are undergoing profound changes.

With the share of people using mobile banking continuing to grow, the number of bank tellers is expected to decline over the next few years, but not drastically. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a nearly 8% decrease in their numbers from 2014 to 2024, from 520,000 to 480,000.

The author of the article and Mercator Advisory Group are in agreement that Financial Institution branches with their complements of customer facing staff are not about to disappear. However, we here at Mercator recognize the accelerating migration of the routine transaction-based tasks to the consumer mobile banking application, and the role of the customer facing FI agent is to act in an increasingly advisory role. FI Branch employees will remain a critical aspect of customer interaction with financial institutions, but the days of those employees being called “tellers” are indeed numbered. I mean, when was the last time you met with a scrivener when in need of legal assistance?

Overview by Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interactions Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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