Imagine racing to your credit union’s ATM machine for cash before having to catch a flight and realizing you don’t have your debit card.
Normally, panic would ensue. But credit unions are continuing to come to the rescue as more of them are installing video tellers one year after the NCUA permitted the virtual offering as service facilities.
“Credit unions have really blazed the trail with this product,” said Jed Taylor, general manager of NCR Corp.’s video banking business. “This ATM experience is similar to a teller but 30% faster than a traditional teller.” It’s more than an ATM on steroids.”
In 2012, the $253 million Sussex County Federal Credit Union in Milford, Del., installed personal teller machines, said Pamela Fleuette, president/CEO. The resulting efficiencies drove them to expand their delivery strategy across their ATM network, using the Duluth, Ga.-based NCR’s APTRA Interactive Teller ATM service to facilitate, she said.
Members using the ATM now have the choice of either self-service or a highly interactive, live audio and visual experience, according to NCR. A centrally-based teller can also drive multiple transactions for them using remote processing technology enabled by NCR’s multi-function ATM capability, the company said.
“We’ve been able to serve members faster during busy times using the kiosk experience, and it’s received increasingly heavy transaction volumes,” Fleuette said. “We can move that virtual teller experience outside the doors of the branch, which will let us offer the service after hours and not just when the branch is open.”
Taylor said NCR is a little ahead of the game with its APTRA Interactive Teller, which is a video banking technology currently in place at credit unions and other financial institutions in more than 20 states and provinces in Canada.
The virtual tellers can conduct approximately 95% of typical teller transactions, according to NCR, including activities that can’t be done by a normal ATM, such as overriding normal cash dispensing transaction limits, scanning checks to give immediate value and validating customers by scanning their ID and recording their digital signature.
In July, the $185 million Lake State Credit Union, which serves members in the Minnesota counties of Pine, Chisago, Carlton, Isanti, Aitkin, Washington, St. Louis and Kanabec, added a new branch in Duluth, Minn., which is more than 40 miles away from its nearest branch, by using interactive video technology from NCR.
The virtual teller is giving tellers located in Moose Lake, Minn., remote control of ATMs in the new branch in Duluth, said Laly Larson, senior vice president and chief information officer at Lake Trust.
“We have been interested in expanding our membership base into Duluth for several years, but the cost of building a full-function branch so far from our core membership base was prohibitive,” Larson said. “NCR APTRA Interactive Teller gives us a cost efficient means for entering a new market.”
As Lake Trust’s membership base in Duluth grows, Larson said the credit union will examine more traditional branches. In the meantime, NCR’s interactive video technology allows for the delivery of personal member experience remotely, she said. The new Duluth branch offers both self-service and assisted service through three NCR virtual tellers and traditional NCR SelfServ ATMs.
According to Tim Smith, president/CEO of Lake State, the Technology Village office in Duluth is not only serving members with the interactive teller, but it also brings in commercial, mortgage and consumer inquiries to the area.
Another player making headway in the virtual teller space is Diebold Inc. The North Canton, Ohio-based company offers its Concierge Video Services, an interactive teller technology using a face-to-face interaction via two-way video. Members provide identification by holding their driver license up to the monitor, which the credit union teller reviews.
The video concierge service is not meant to be a replacement for traditional ATMs, but it is one way Diebold is incorporating popular consumer technology such as video chat and mobile to enhance the consumer banking experience, according to Elizabeth Robins, senior product manager for Diebold.
Diebold’s approach is to offer video only when it adds value to a complex interaction, the company said. Drive-up ATM locations would still be dedicated to simple transactions such as withdrawals and deposits. Conversely, some members may not want to wait behind someone that is having a video chat, preferring instead to quickly conduct their transaction and move on with their day.
Next Page: Asessing Each ATM's Goals
Robins said that’s why it is so important for credit unions to assess the goals of each of their ATMs in the context of their larger retail delivery strategy. This will ensure that they are applying technology to offer an enhanced experience to consumers, she added.
The $386 million Missoula Federal Credit Union in Missoula, Mont., and the $3.5 billion Mountain America Credit Union in West Jordan, Utah, are the only credit unions to test Diebold’s latest creation so far, but more are in the works.
“Missoula just uninstalled the pilot program three weeks ago,” Robins said. “Their upper management is discussing when they are getting on board, but we think it will be early next year.”
Missoula accepted the invitation to pilot Diebold’s video concierge and to be the first in the nation to connect with members face-to-face from an ATM terminal, said Kathy O’Masters, branch supervisor at the credit union’s University Branch.
“During the pilot, we were able to connect members with call center representatives right at the ATM terminal, creating a new member touch point,” O’Masters said. “The result was that we were able to determine that our members would be receptive to the new service option. They welcomed the opportunity to connect face-to-face with credit union representatives right from the ATM terminal.”
O’Masters said Missoula’s call center representatives were able to interview members regarding the new service, answer questions, fulfill marketing opportunities and process call center-capable transactions. By installing Diebold’s video concierge service, Robins said credit unions can expect to see a hard return on investment savings of $3.50 per transaction.
Some are predicting that more credit unions will consider the deployment of video tellers now that regulatory authority to do so has occurred.
In August 2012, the NCUA announced that credit unions can now use video teller machines as service facilities as part of their expansion programs.
To qualify as service facilities under the NCUA’s rules, video ATMs must provide real time, face-to-face video access to live tellers at regularly scheduled weekly hours, using credit union or shared branch staff as tellers on screen.
The video ATMs must also allow members to conduct all transactions available at a traditional facility and they must be located close to members.