ATM of the Future: Where Your Money is Coming From Next

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 05:00 AM

Since ATMs first appeared on street corners more than four decades ago, their basic function has barely changed.  But recently, to save on costs and attract a younger, more plugged-in generation of customers, banks are updating not only their ATMs, but the meaning of the word “bank" itself.

Over the past two years, PNC Bank and Chase have introduced machines that dispense $1 and $5 bills. Citigroup is expanding a line of ATMs that let customers open accounts and pay bills. Earlier this year, Bank of America began installing “virtual tellers" in their ATMs that enable video chats with tellers: Put in your PIN, push “Speak with teller” and a face pops up on the screen.

Bank analyst Nancy Bush says banks are catching up with features already available on smart phones: Video, touch screens, apps and customized menus.

“More and more banks are dealing with a younger generation who don’t wish to go into a branch, who are very technology savvy and who prefer to access banking products through technology,” said Bush.

At the same time, banks like Wells Fargo and Chase are exploring more automated branches where tellers are replaced with new ATMs and employees focus on providing financial advice and loans, products that are also more profitable for banks.

“Now, as more and more people are turning to technology to do their banking, there just isn’t the need for as many bank branches, and perhaps there were too many to begin with,” says Elizabeth Rouse, a product manager at SNL Financial, which tracks bank branches.  SNL reports that in the past four years, 3 percent of U.S. bank branches have closed.


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Comments [2]


I am not sure about why there seem to be MORE banks popping up, but I still find I need to go to a bank for a few reasons. Examples: If I need money in certain denominations (for example, if I am leading a trip and I need to have one $10 bill for every person), if I need checks in a foreign currency, if I need to deposit money from our small business, if I need rolls of quarters for the laundromat, if I need more than $300 in cash ... basically anything that's not depositing a check, transferring funds or getting $300 or less in twenties. Sometimes it's also really nice to deal with a friendly teller versus a beeping machine :)

Nov. 12 2013 10:39 AM
Amy Kearns from Central NJ

Thank you for this story. I've been wondering now for quite awhile who goes into actual physical banks anymore. It seems to me that in my area there's a new bank built on every other corner every week! I don't ever need to enter a physical bank really and I bank by ATM and online. In the rare case I would need to go, if I had to travel to get to one it wouldn't be a problem so I don't understand how there are still so many buildings. Even though this story says some branches have closed, I do not see that where I am. Who is still going into the branches and what do they do there? I've thought that someone should really look into this bc it doesn't seem to make sense that as more people bank online and at ATMs that MORE bank buildings would be popping up constantly.

Nov. 12 2013 08:48 AM

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