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From an increase in puppy purchases to new vocabularies that include “social distancing” and “flatten the curve,” the pandemic has introduced a range of new behaviors, including how people shop, work and socialize. When it comes to banking, there was increased uptake in digital apps. But despite this, some things haven’t changed: some consumers still want to come to their physical branches because branches still offer value. So it’s important to have a strong physical presence while making necessary changes that meet new consumer demands.
But how can financial institutions (FIs) offer the same in-branch experience while continuing to ensure the safety of their branch staff and customers even long after the pandemic subsides?
By adopting Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs), FIs can offer an ATM self-service interface with video screens that allow customers to speak directly with a live representative. With FIs facing the challenge of shortening branch hours, availability, and social distancing, ITMs offer the ability to free up teller transactions while maintaining a socially distanced environment that ultimately puts the consumer back in charge of their banking.
The ITM offers a wide range of services and there are other benefits that can play a large role in the transformation of the banking branch.
How can the ITM add benefit to an FI?
As FIs work to meet an increase in demand for 24/7 banking access, deploying ITM technology means their business and retail banking customers have the freedom to conduct transactions at a time that suits them. Combined with digital banking, remote ITM tellers can give consumers access to nearly every banking service they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any ITM location (if the call center is staffed).
Delivering a wider range of services
By operating as a remote branch, ITMs make it easier to give your customers the service they want. That’s because, with ITMs, FIs can deliver around 95 percent of banking transactions—from typical ATM services like cash dispense and deposit to loan payments, replacement card orders, account opening, loan applications, and more.
Taking the brand to more locations
By taking advantage of the latest technology, FIs can offer branch services anywhere, allowing them to reach current and prospective customers alike. FIs can place ITMs in non-traditional locations like shopping malls, medical centers, airports, remote locations, and university campuses for a “branch in a box” solution that facilitates financial inclusion and access in places where you may not have a physical presence.
Taking the ATM user experience to a new level
Using an ITM is personable and private, much like a phone call with a friend. Its sleek design and touch screen allow for easy navigation. The machine also comes with headsets and chat boxes for added privacy when sharing sensitive information. The teller onscreen can be based at a call center or even in their own home and can perform more transactions and services to deliver the ultimate user experience—taking the ATM to the next level. It also enables more out-of-hours banking; this empowers consumers to complete their financial business when they want to, providing another layer of choice and convenience. They no longer need to rush to reach the branch after work, and FIs can extend their hours without having to keep the branch fully staffed.
Delivering the best ITM experience
ATMs enable FIs to migrate even more transactions to the self-service channel; they also free up tellers to provide more advisory and relationship-building services. Meanwhile, consumers can choose to conduct a traditional ATM transaction or touch the screen to connect to a teller. But a key part of their success is helping customers make the transaction and feel comfortable in using this technology. Here are three considerations when deploying your ITMs:
- Engagement: Ensure customers and employees know about the ITM, how it works and the benefits it will bring to them, such as availability out of hours, more self-service options, and easy-to-access support.
- Support: As ITMs come into the branch, have tellers available on the floor to educate customers on how to use it.
- Placement: Make sure to place the ITM in a location where customers have privacy and feel comfortable having conversations with the teller.
Serving the unbanked, meeting cash demands, and innovating
Above are just a few reasons why ITMs are one of the best investments FIs can make today and for the future. Globally, branch numbers are decreasing, and assisted self-service terminals are increasing, so FIs are looking to technology to enable them to bridge the gap and continue to provide easy and local access to banking services. That technology is the ITM.
With consumer demand for more freedom to bank how, when, and where they want, the ITM means FIs not only ensure customers always have access to their cash, but also 95 percent of the transactions they usually handle with a teller. And it also shows consumers how banking continues to innovate to deliver modern, personalized banking experiences that keep them coming back.