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Could Bank Tellers Someday Become Extinct?

myfuturedotcom, Flickr

Many of us do our banking via ATM or other electronic means, but how would you feel if actual in-person tellers didn’t exist? A few banks are testing out new systems with the possible goal of making that idea a reality.

In an effort to reduce waiting time for customers and free up employees to sell profitable products like loans and mortgages, some banks are installing touch screens and self-serve kiosks that would allow people to conduct standard banking business as well as cash checks, buy money orders and get cash in unusual denominations — tasks typically reserved exclusively for tellers.

Bank of America is even trying out video teller machines with screens that would give customers access to employees located in a centralized call center who can remotely authorize transactions, review check images and dole out cash. North Carolina’s Coastal Federal Credit Union, which has already switched to such a system, has seen its costs drop by 40 percent.

Willard Ross, chief retail officer for the credit union, said product sales have nearly doubled in the branches and added, “Branch managers don’t have to worry about manning the teller operations anymore, so they can be totally focused on the members who walk in.”

[The Wall Street Journal]

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