Recognizing and investing in the benefits of interactive teller machines (ITMs) is essential for financial institutions. ITM deployment helps meet consumer demand and advances efficient banking experiences.
Reviewing What Makes Interactive Teller Machines Different
Consumers today are looking for more efficient and convenient ways to handle their banking tasks. Meanwhile, banks and other financial institutions deal with the challenges of trying to meet those demands while seeking avenues to reduce costs. As branch activities continue to decline in the face of mobile and online banking options, the financial services industry must find ways to deliver personalized service while also developing strong connective relationships with consumers and delivering a brand-affirming public appearance.
Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) provide a method to deliver on all accounts. Also known as video remote tellers or personal teller machines, ITMs offer a familiar ATM-like interface and set up but with the addition of a video screen that allows customers to speak directly to a teller or other service representative in real-time. Complete with a touch screen, buttons, and direct phone access to the teller, an ITM provides a more interactive and fulfilling experience than a traditional ATM, where interaction is limited to simple button responses. Additional features include an ID scanner to verify the customer’s identity, a signature pad, and even a coin dispenser for distributing different denominations of coins.
While ITMs can be used to perform simple cash transactions or deposits like an ATM, they also offer the ability to engage in more substantial and personalized banking activities with the inclusion of a remote teller. Customers have more access, more choice of services, and more convenience. Interactive Teller Machines provide an in-branch experience, or ‘brand in a box’ interaction, with the additional flexibility afforded by extended hours, small footprints, and the ability to widen the area of coverage for a banking provider.
Advanced terminals can act as branches on their own but can operate from a variety of convenient locations such as department stores or hotel lobbies. The customer and teller can communicate in real-time, with the teller guiding and assisting through the transaction. With ITMs, customers can perform many different transaction types not currently available on ATMs including (but not limited to):
- Cardless transactions
- Cash checks to the penny
- Bill and loan payments
- New account openings
- Order replacement cards
- Savings bonds and CD processing, redemptions and renewals
- Credit card payments
- Access to all accounts
Before the pandemic, data reflected that consumer preferences were trending toward mobile and remote delivery banking. The arrival of COVID-19 increased the willingness of customers to embrace those channels in an era of social distancing. Pandemic precautions and increased use of online solutions have forced some banks to evaluate their branch footprint. While these organizations know their branches offer value, they’re also expensive to open, staff, and maintain.
ITM deployment is perfectly positioned to meet all these demands, and advances efficient banking experiences that benefit both the financial institution and consumers.
Experience the Stratus Difference: See how we helped one bank refresh 355 ATM locations by engineering, fabricating, and then installing branding designs.
Exploring the Benefits of Interactive Teller Machines
Both financial institutions and customers alike can benefit from the deployment of ITMs.
For customers, the biggest benefit will be the convenience of accessing services outside of a branch location or normal working hours combined with the human touch of an actual teller. Above, we outlined the kinds of services you can get through an ITM that you couldn’t through an ATM. While you might be able to do the same online, having a teller to assist you through the process can be helpful and alleviate concerns. Also, banking hours don’t fit everyone’s lifestyle or schedule. With ITMs, banks can extend hours with the live video feature to provide service in the evening or on the weekend.
In addition, ID verification is easier through an ITM. If your credit card is lost or stolen, the teller can verify your identity with a driver’s license or another form of ID. You can even request specific denominations bills and coins when receiving cash, unlike ATMs that typically have preset parameters.
For banks, the benefits of interactive teller machines are equally prevalent.
ITMs and ATMs dramatically reduce per-transaction expenses — estimates have self-service devices handling the transaction at roughly one-quarter of the cost of an in-person teller. Using such devices will also drive up operational efficiency as wait times will be shorter inside the branch itself, and drive-through transaction times will be reduced.
Branch staff is an expensive asset, and ITMs will allow financial institutions to fully optimize the way this asset interacts with customers. Tellers can spend more time focused on critical interactions that provide customer value, while terminals can help streamline the rest. With an ITM in place, branch staff can focus more on complex interactions while the ITM manages the day-to-day transactions; it can have a positive effect on the bottom line.
Deploying ITMs can offer a competitive advantage. As a relatively new technology, and one with a substantial upfront cost, ITMs are used only by an estimated 25 percent of banks. Embracing ITMs can serve as a differentiator with younger demographics who place more importance on innovation.
ITMs can also afford you greater market presence and brand recognition opportunities. They can extend your organization’s reach at a fraction of the cost of opening another branch to serve underserved areas, like rural regions, and can be strategically installed in high-traffic areas like campuses, malls, and retail parking lots to increase your brand recognition and footprint.
Experience the Stratus Difference: Learn how we helped one financial institution engineer and install custom ATM surrounds at 540 different sites in the span of one year.
Implementing ITMs Requires the Right Partner
As one of the leading brand implementation companies in North America, Stratus partners with clients in multiple industries to help them with all of their interactive teller machine needs. For financial institutions, ITMs present an opportunity to be there for your clients whenever and wherever they need you. We’ll help you ensure this critical brand touchpoint is looking and operating at its best 24/7/365.
With extensive experience in providing ATM Signage services, we’re equipped to help you transition to, implement, or expand ITM locations and services. Our signage division handles virtually every need for our clients across all of their facilities, whether it’s a few dozen or a few hundred.
It all begins with understanding your ITM program goals. From there, we’ll work with your existing brand standards or implement them into a new design. Then, we’ll engineer a highly functional and engaging solution. Our team will then work on manufacturing and producing signage to accompany your interactive teller machines.
All assets of the project will be routed to our warehouses for one point of contact throughout the program, and ease of logistics planning and quality control. Our established program management team will handle due diligence requirements for your ITM deployment. Once complete, we’ll back your new ITM program and locations with on-call and preventive maintenance services to keep them running smoothly and as clear beacons for your branding.