A video teller system that allows credit unions to offer 24/7 service with ? a live person has been granted patent protection by the U.S. Patent Office, said its developer, and a New York credit union is using it around the clock.
uGenius Technology's video banking system uses a remote unit that allows the member to push a button and connect to a live teller-at any branch or call center-for virtually any transaction normally done in person.
The Sandy, Utah, company said it has about 100 of the video banking units in place right now in the United States, Canada and Australia, all of which are staffed only by the institutions' staff.
One of those, the $697 million Mid-Hudson Valley FCU in Kingston, N.Y., is the only in the country that offers personal teller service every day around the clock, uGenius said.
The credit union - which calls the service MHV Personal Teller - lists nine locations for the service on its website at www.mhvfcu.com and said the service is always available except for Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year's Eve.
"What (this) provides is a way of disseminating that service on a scale never before possible-24/7," said Mid Hudson Valley's chief marketing officer Bob Michaud. "You never have to lock the door with a Personal Teller. These are not banker's hours anymore."
Gene Pranger, the system's inventor, said, "After six and half years of working with the U.S. Patent Office we are pleased to be granted a patent on our uGenius Personal Teller Technology."