One industry where customer behavior is changing rapidly is retail banking. While the death of the branch hasn't materialized as some had predicted with the introduction of automated teller machines in the 1960s, changing demographics along with continued advancements in automation has made it easier for customers to bank online, using their mobile devices and, increasingly, do their banking through the use of video teller machines. Against this backdrop, it's hardly surprising that average monthly branch teller transaction rates have plummeted from 11,700 in 1992 to about 6,400 as of May 2013, according to a study conducted by Financial Management Solutions Inc., a provider of teller management systems. These shifts, along with opportunities to improve operational efficiency, have led some banks to deploy video teller services. For instance, First Hawaiian Bank recently opened a new branch in Waiakea that's equipped with video teller machines. Customers can use the machines for typical banking transactions such as depositing checks or withdrawing cash and to speak to off-site bank tellers during extended banking hours.
Meanwhile, other banks that serve rural communities have installed video teller machines to support customers across remote areas where there isn't enough foot traffic to warrant individual branch offices.
Video teller services offer customers a convenient option to receive support or conduct transactions while enabling banks to operate more efficiently. Granted, widespread deployment of video teller machines could help lead to the eventual elimination of more than 100,000 teller jobs in the U.S., according to Steven Reider, president of Bancography, a financial services consulting firm in Birmingham, AL in a story posted by USA Today. However, the remaining tellers will likely become far more efficient and spend more time interacting directly with customers, says Reider.