When organizations are seeking new technology, they’re most often looking for something that will not only streamline its internal processes, but also help it serve its customers better.  The financial institution industry has been readily taking advantage of some of the new technology available today.  Internet and mobile banking have been two of the largest leaps in service that banking customers and credit union members have seen due to the level of convenience. However, with Internet and mobile banking, there are limitations that still require the customer/member to come to a physical branch location.  In order to bridge this gap, financial institutions are utilizing personal teller machines and self-service kiosks. Watch the following video below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyBXLh0lALM&w=560&h=315]

While self-service kiosks have been around for quite some time, they are becoming adopted by more and more financial institutions now-a-days.  At first glance, they might appear to be an ATM; however, they are capable of performing a variety of additional transactions and services.  Quite a few of the services offered go beyond the capabilities of online banking and tackle services that typically would require interacting with a teller during the regular branch hours.  These kiosks offer the ability for customers to cash checks, complete money orders, print official checks, pay bills and withdraw cash (in increments other than $20 bills) on top of other features.  Brian Bailey of NCR (a tech. company that creates these self-service kiosks) said, “people can do up to 90 percent of their teller transactions 24 hours a day” using their kiosks.

Financial institutions, both large and small, are taking advantage of these kiosks to provide members with better service.  A survey conducted by Celent Research in 2012 found that nearly two-thirds of credit unions and one-third of banks surveyed already use or plan to use personal teller machines, self-service terminals or kiosks within the next year.  In the second half of 2012, JP Morgan Chase expanded its kiosk offering to more than 100 locations.   When speaking about the topic, Todd Maclin, co-chief executive of Chase’s retail business said, “Over the next two to three years, we’re going to introduce a lot of new technology into the branches and ATMs, and that’s going to generate head-count savings for us and it’s going to encourage more transactions going mobile and ATM and other forms of self-service.  Branch and ATM self-service has the capacity to be a game changer for us.”

A local financial institution that is taking advantage of these kiosks is AmeriCU Credit Union (headquartered in Rome, NY).  In describing the benefits of the kiosks, Vice President of Member Relations and Marketing Judith Cowden said, “We have found that by migrating many of our routine transactions to the electronic channels, we are able to spend more time acting as a resource for those members who need a consultation or have more complicated questions and transactions.”

Financial kiosks and self-service machines are typically being offered by financial institutions in two ways – on-site in the actual branch lobby and off-site in remote locations (such as a convenience store).  The on-site kiosks provide customers with an alternative channel for conducting business when visiting the branch, which can be especially convenient during peak hours or for conducting routine transactions. Giving customers this option will help reduce wait times while also helping to ease the burden on tellers allowing them to spend more time with individual customers that require the additional assistance.  To increase access to these services, some banks and credit unions are putting kiosks in a separate section of the branch lobby or in a drive-through, giving customers/members extended access.  For the financial institutions that are using the off-site kiosks, customers are seeing the benefits of having yet another location to conduct transactions.  Additionally, these off-site kiosks allow banks and credit unions to expand their reach and provide multiple locations for customers (without requiring investment in a completely new branch location).

2013 banking trend kiosks

Finding the best way to implement these kiosks (and other new technology) as well as encourage usage, without making customers feel excluded or discouraged from the other channels, will likely become a key priority for financial institutions. Just like with other channels of banking, customer type and demographics will likely play a large role in preference and usage.  As these services become optimized and banks and credit unions get more creative with using technology to help better serve customers, it will be interesting to see the role it plays in the customer interaction model as a whole.  While customer service interactions will remain a very important factor for banking customers, there will likely be an increasing push from customers to stay competitive by offering these new technologies.

For more information about how market research can help banks and credit unions, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling (315) 635-9802.