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Photo of debit card being removed from ITM machine with a receipt dispensed.

Teller Machines Becoming More Prominent

A new form of technology is changing the way customers interact with bank staff. In recent months, interactive teller machines (ITM) have been popping up in various locations around the country.

In essence, interactive tellers replace existing ATMs but instead of only pressing various buttons and looking at digital screens, customers also talk to a real person through video. Local community banks including Bank Midwest are among the first to utilize this new technology that provides benefits to both the branch and customer.

Bank Midwest's drive-up personal teller machine which also serves as an ATMOne of Bank Midwest’s personal teller machines.

How does an ITM differ from an ATM?
Automated teller machines (ATMs) are as common as smartphones these days. However, this wasn’t always the case. According to History.com, the first ATM was unveiled in early September 1969 and only able to dispense cash. Since the ATM launched, banking has never been the same. Within two years, ATMs had advanced to offer more functionality for customers, such as being able to look up account balances.

Today’s ATMs have advanced to include a combination of touch screen or buttons that enable customers to deposit or withdraw money. Some branches in recent years have introduced more advanced terminals that utilize only touch screen controls. Taking it one step further, some ATMs can provide additional service by featuring video interaction with a bank employee upon request. These ATMs are known as ITMs.

Interactive teller machines have started to experience wider use, particularly in less populated areas.

Like many ATMs, customers can deposit cash (bills only) or checks, and withdraw cash. ITMs are especially valuable when a debit card is lost or stolen. Without a debit or ATM card, individuals are left without a way to withdraw cash from a standard ATM.

An ITM allows customers a way to prove their identity by showing or scanning their driver’s license or other form of identification so they can withdraw cash until a replacement card is received.

More ITM benefits
ITMs offer more than a friendly smile from a bank employee on screen. A majority of ATMs can only disburse bills in $20 increments, but with ITMs, customers can request, and receive, their money in various increments of bills. They can even receive loose coins, say when cashing a check, something today’s ATMs cannot handle.

Customers may also benefit from faster service and extended hours by utilizing bank staff who work from another location or contact center. Expanded hours benefit the bank with potentially increased business and give customers more flexibility in their schedule to conduct financial transactions.

“ITMs offer branches the ability to extend their hours.”

Components of ITM
Current ITMs have a number of features that customers can use depending upon the nature of their transaction. Basic functions, such as the receipt printer, card reader and PIN pad carry over from ATMs. Additional features include a video camera near eye-level, a pad for signatures, identification scanner, a coin dispenser and live chat or a phone handset for private communication with the teller. Together, these components will make banking transactions from an ITM more secure and easier.

Bank Midwest Personal Tellers (ITMs)
The Bank Midwest location in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was the first to install two Personal Teller units (ITMs) – one in the lobby and one in the drive-up. There are plans to install Personal Tellers in additional Bank Midwest locations including one in Sherburn, Minnesota, which is going online this month.

Interactive teller machines are quickly finding popularity as they benefit both branch locations and customers. Customers are welcome to stop by Bank Midwest Personal Teller locations in Sioux Falls or Sherburn to try out this new technology.