Interactive Teller Machines

The Most Evident Benefits of Interactive Teller Machines

Before we analyse the benefits of Interactive Teller Machines, let’s understand a bit of the context.

The waves of self-service technology have already hit the banking domain long back. ATMs which were once a luxury, became a necessity in the banking sector in the 90s. Since then, the banking sector had witnessed many technological advancements like internet banking and mobile banking.

As of now, we are witnessing the incorporation of a more advanced version of the ATM – the ITM. Yes, financial institutions are nowadays implementing ITMs or Interactive Teller Machines to extend their services to the customers and enhance their reach.

Now, let’s have a closer look at the ITM machines and their benefits.

Interactive Teller Machine
banking kiosk machine

What is an Interactive Teller Machine?

In simple words, an ITM can be represented as an interactive ATM machine equipped with video calling facility. The customers can perform the regular transactions via the ITM interface, which is similar to the ATM interface, and moreover, interact with a teller real-time via video conferencing. The teller might be located at the main branch or a call-centre, whichever convenient. Even though the teller is located at a different location, the virtual bank teller via ITM can provide almost all the services offered at a conventional branch.

ITM bank machines can be implemented in a much lesser footprint compared to the bank branch system. As you all know, the conventional bank branch comes with a larger footprint, greater number of employees, and increased operational costs.

The Covid 19 pandemic and the social distancing norms, in a way, forced banks to setup ITMs to meet the ever-increasing demands of the customers.

Benefits of Interactive teller machines

An Interactive Teller Machine serves as a feasible, cost-cutting mechanism for financial institutions as it provides almost all the major services offered by the conventional bank branch with minimum investment.

The most evident benefits are listed below.

  • Reduced operational cost – The reduced footprint of the ITM helps banks to operate one at the corner of a busy junction or in the premises of a college campus. Hence the bank management can save the huge rent amount connected with a physical branch. An ITM can bypass other expenses like electricity, maintenance and service cost etc.
  • Improved customer satisfaction – The ITM teller machines can serve as an alternative to a bank teller and handle most of the teller tasks. The customer need not stand in the queue for a long time, particularly during the peak hours, to perform various banking transactions. Instead, the customer can visit any of the ITMs that are deployed at multiple locations to perform the same transaction. This makes banking transactions highly convenient. The improved convenience makes the customers revisit the ITM to perform similar transactions in the future. And this adds to customer satisfaction.
  • Efficient transactions – ITMs handle teller-tasks like cash deposit or withdrawal, cheque deposit/ cashing, payment of loans with great accuracy and minimum time. ITMs also facilitate bulk withdrawals after initiating a video call user-confirmation. All these features improve the overall efficiency of banking operations.
automated teller machine
banking kiosk
  • Facilitates cross-selling – As ITMs handle most of the responsibilities of the teller, the teller as an employee need not perform the same mundane job. The bank or the financial institution may assign the employee more productive tasks that require communicating or interacting with the customers. Improved opportunities to interact with customers facilitate cross-selling. Cross selling helps in introducing banking products and services to the customers. And this adds to the revenue of the financial institution.
  • Improved brand awareness – Interactive Teller Machines serve as a “box branch” facility. Financial institutions may set up an ITM at any preferred location or spot where people come in large numbers. For example, college campuses, railway station premises, tourist spots etc are ideal for ITM deployment. Moreover, the cost of setting up an ITM is far less compared to opening a physical bank branch. ITMs can operate in a minimum footprint which is not possible in the case of a branch. Due to these reasons, implementation of an Interactive Teller Machine is one of the most feasible strategies to improve the brand awareness of the financial institution.
  • Improved distribution and utilization of employees – As the “video teller machines” take care of the customer needs, the employees can concentrate on more customer-centric services that add value to the financial institution. When customers feel that they are heard and assisted, they become the most loyal advocates of the establishment.
  • Gain competitive edge – By implementing ITM banking, the financial institution attains the competitive edge over its competitors, as it showcases well-thought-out, technology-driven banking solutions to facilitate 24/7 banking.
  • New customers – Technological advancements like ITMs attract millennials and Gen Z customers to banking establishments. Young adults make the maximum use of technological advancements and innovations irrespective of the domain.

Panashi ITM project for Wahda bank

We’ve implemented ITM for our esteemed client Wahda bank as part of bank’s Smart Bank initiative. The video conferencing facility of the ITM makes transactions like account opening simple, less time-consuming, and highly efficient.

The user provides the necessary credentials to open the bank account at the ITM interface which is followed by a live, interactive, user-confirmation process. This user confirmation is done via video conferencing by a bank representative.

The new bank account is issued after obtaining the final approval of the bank.

Hardware components of an ITM

ITMs share the hardware components of an ATM. But it is loaded with more.

The components are:

  • Card reader
  • Pin pad
  • Receipt printer
  • Signature pad
  • Video camera
  • Cash and coin dispenser
  • Deposit slot

If you are planning to implement ITMs as part of your expansion or digital banking initiative, please do the most needed research pertaining to demographic studies, customer requirements etc. Conduct a survey which involves the active participation of the employees and customers. An opinion poll can also help in this regard. Understand the needs of the customers, and acquire valuable feedbacks from employees.

Once implemented, provide adequate support to the customers regarding the use of ITMs. Financial institutions may make use of interactive walls to educate customers about the added benefits of Interactive Teller Machines.

Offer training sessions to bankers in main branches so that they can easily manage the systems and ensure hassle-free banking.