Bank of America launches video banking ATMs
Bank of America has launched a new ATM service that will allow users to have a video conversation with a human teller at the machine.
The new service, Teller Assist, uses real-time video to connect the user with English and Spanish speaking tellers so that they can benefit from the kind of personal interaction that would normally only be available at a branch. Using the new ATMs, customers can cash cheques for the exact amount, receive cash withdrawals in various denominations, deposit cheques with cash back, split a deposit into two or more accounts and make loan or credit card payments, all using the ATM.
The Teller Assist service will be available between the hours 07.00 to 22.00 on weekdays and 08.00 to 16.00 on Saturdays and Sundays, and will be installed first a Bank of America centre in Boston in April, after which they will be gradually rolled out at remote locations, drive-through spots and other banking centres across selected US markets over the rest of the year.
“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. “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.”
Consumers will still be able to use the Teller Assist ATMs to make a transaction as normal 24/7, and Bank of America has said banking centre tellers will also continue to be available for customers who want to carry out their transactions in person.
Video banking is not an entirely new concept. As far back as the mid-1990s, video banking services were being trialled at the UCL campus in California. But the technology to make such services reliable is only now becoming more mainstream. Earlier this year, Coastal Federal Credit Union partnered with transaction company uGenius to install five new video banking points on its own US-based ATM network; BBVA Compass has also adopted drive-through ATMs with the help of Wincor Nixdorf that feature video banking abilities.
Part of the impetus for such tools comes from changing customer behaviour, as well as a desire to cut costs by reducing branch staff. In January, Citi rolled out a new kind of ATM designed to help customers do virtually all their banking without visiting a branch. The Citibank Express ATM is equipped with an online banking connection, video conferencing and biometric identity authentication. Users can open accounts and apply for loans, cards and cashier’s cheques using the device; transactions can also be started on a computer or mobile device and completed on Citibank Express or vice versa.
The ATM also has a screen that can display personalised promotions and offers and allows users to see and speak with a customer service representative on one screen while conducting business on the other. The machines support NFC and scanning and embossing functions have been included so that the machines will eventually be able to instantly print credit and ATM cards.