June 07, 2010

ATMs Becoming Talking ABM (PAT)

ATM terminals which let customers have real-time chats with tellers and facilitate some additional functions such as issuing checks and coins.

The bank machine you can talk to - The Globe and Mail

Tara Perkins and Grant Robertson
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published on Wednesday, Jun. 02, 2010 6:38PM EDT
Last updated on Thursday, Jun. 03, 2010 4:33PM EDT
When was the last time your bank machine smiled at you?

Beginning next week, customers of FirstOntario Credit Union will be able to walk up to an ABM and speak face to face with a person who can not only dispense money, but can also talk to them about a loan or even listen to their complaints.

The difference between these tellers and those in a branch is that, in theory, these tellers could be sitting almost anywhere.

This new kind of ABM, dubbed the personal assistant teller, or PAT, will make it possible for tellers to conduct real-time chats from remote locations, and fulfill functions that a regular ABM can’t. PAT, for instance, can issue cheques and coins.

In some ways, it’s a step back in time for the banking industry, which has increasingly gone to automated banking as a way to cut costs and boost efficiency. The evolution of sophisticated machines and the rise of Internet banking have created reliable ways to manage personal finance, though they have sometimes eliminated the personal touch.

When an employee of FirstOntario heard about the new video ABMs at a conference in the United States, the Hamilton-based credit union immediately began investigating, and it now hopes the technology will eventually revolutionize its business.

Posted by staff at June 7, 2010 07:23 AM