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An ATM unlike any other - with videoconferencing
September 12, 2012 | Howard Lichtman
Video conferencing and other advanced technologies could reshape the way customers interact with their retail banks.
By Jennifer Alsever, contributor to Fortune
FORTUNE -- Something's missing at the Coastal Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C. Walk into any of the bank's 15 branches and you'll find not a single bank teller behind the counter. In fact, there's no teller counter at all. Instead, a line of ATM-style machines greets visitors, encouraging them to log in and chat via video-conferencing with bank tellers located in an office located miles away. Welcome to what may become the future of banking.
Facing increased costs and demand from consumers for more mobile transactions, retail banks are now turning to "personal teller machines," akin to video-conferencing with centralized tellers, for branch service. These virtual tellers can do things like write checks, open and close accounts, even handle loans in addition to the typical ATM functions.
"Video banking is still nascent but there will be lots of change in retail banking over the next five years, and personal teller machines will be a big part of the emerging landscape," says Bob Meara, a banking analyst at the Boston research and consulting firm Celent. In fact, nearly two-thirds of credit unions and one-third of banks surveyed by Celent this summer say they already use or plan to use personal teller machines, self-service terminals or kiosks within the next year.
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