If you're a frequent bank visitor, you've probably noticed the gradual reduction of tellers as banks encourage more use of ATMs and the Internet as a primary means of conducting transactions. One bank is trying something new: enhancing the ATM experience by bringing back a bit of the human touch via video.
Bank of America has announced a new ATM feature called "Teller Assist" that allows a customer to interact with a live remote teller through video chat on an ATM's screen. Katy Knox, the head of Bank of America's retail banking division, said, "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."
What remains unclear is whether the video bank tellers will be based in the U.S., or part of the increasing ranks of outsourced customer service reps located in places such as India and the Philippines, a cost-cutting solution that has become increasingly popular amongst major U.S. banks.
The initial phase of the service is limited to Boston, Massachusetts, but Bank of America plans to roll out the service to most of its 16,300 ATMs throughout the rest of this year.