A rise in self-service has led to a steady move for many credit unions to the use of Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs). It’s hardly surprising. ITMs can perform a majority of standard transactions typically handled by tellers, reducing transaction costs and solving staffing issues.
With robust capabilities, ITMs can help credit unions meet branch service expectations remotely. But the price tag often reaches upwards of $100,000. CORE integration can raise those costs closer to $300,000 – just for the initial equipment and setup. At those prices, many smaller financial institutions are hard-pressed to justify the expense.
Fortunately, rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to ongoing upkeep, credit unions can leverage current technology to meet member needs – without an ITM.
Mobile connectivity beyond your app
Seventy-four percent of Americans would rather lose their wallet than their phone, according to a KPMG survey. You know, those handheld minicomputers fully equipped with web browsing and cameras. Why aren’t we using those to their full potential?
Okay, we kind of are with mobile apps. But why aren’t we letting consumers use them at the ATM?
Hear me out. Say, a consumer is having an issue at the ATM – not an ITM but the ATM at your branch or the branded off-premise machine in the local grocery store. They want to do something more complex than withdraw cash or make a deposit. They want to become a member, make a payment, get a loan, or maybe they’re having an issue with their debit card. What if they could scan a QR code on the ATM, “Connect with a Teller” and choose to live chat, start a video call, or a variety of other options with a call center rep?
What if they could address their concerns with a teller while they are still at the ATM? And depending on how complex the issue, imagine if they could screen-share so they can be walked through their problem step-by-step?
Affordable omni-channel solutions can do all that PLUS connect members with a teller or call center representative through a credit union’s marketing channels – without adding more capital expenses to the balance sheet, expensive CORE integration or the need for regular upgrades to meet compliance mandates.
Provide personalized service without an ITM
Standard financial institution ATMs can dispense cash, transfer funds between accounts, and accept cash and deposits. While they can’t do all the CORE-integrated transactions an ITM can deliver, the real difference between an ATM and an ITM is the ability to initiate a video interaction – allowing call center employees to assist members remotely.
Mobile-enabled video interactions can achieve comparable results without the high cost of buying ITMs or CORE integration. The member simply scans a QR code and engages in a video call or live chat with credit union staff, requesting a more advanced transaction. The employee can then verify the individual’s information and help them complete their desired transaction.
For more complex transactions like loan applications, and CD renewals, call center staff are able to walk consumers through the process, provide links to the documentation required and receive documentation like an ID. Because there is no need to login or visit the credit union’s website, consumers can easily become members and open a new account right then and there. And because it’s browser-based, call center staff can work remotely.
Bridging the language barrier with text chat
Even with ITMs, one of the big challenges many credit unions face is the language barrier. Over 47 million people in the United States speak a language other than English in their homes, according to 2021 U.S. Census Bureau reports.
While quite a few of those individuals are bi-lingual, there are still millions of consumers whose primary language isn’t English. And the language barrier can become a real issue for credit unions using video teller services.
But today’s technology can address language concerns by offering live chat with built-in translation services. Even better, some call center systems with translation solutions can provide service for both incoming and outgoing messages. English-speaking staff are able to understand the questions and concerns of members and members receive responses translated into their preferred language.
While technology can’t resolve communication problems should non-English speakers select a live video call, credit union staff can direct these consumers to live chat services to meet their needs.
Providing advanced technologies more affordably
ITMs are a great solution for credit unions investing in branch transformation and expansion. But the overall costs can be difficult to fit into the budget.
Fortunately, ITMs and mobile apps are no longer the only way to provide complete care for members. With the combination of mobile, web-based functionality, some well-placed QR codes, and a robust, multilingual back end, any credit union can turn their ATMs into a full-function service space.
And then you can take it even further and use those direct-connect QR codes and customized landing pages across all marketing channels to provide exceptional service and attract younger, tech savvy members.