In a few years, human tellers may disappear from branch locations of certain banks. They'll be replaced by video-conferencing kiosks connected to staff housed at one central location, as CNN Money reported.
These machines are a part of a trend set to change the way banks look over the next five years, Bob Meara, a banking analyst at the research firm Celent in Boston, told CNN. A Celent survey found that almost two-thirds of credit unions and one-third of banks already use or plan to use video-conferencing kiosks within a year.
The self-service stands cut costs for banks at a time that more and more customers are doing their banking online or at ATM. CNN examined the Coastal Federal Credit Union, which has removed human tellers from its 15 branches in Raleigh, N.C. The credit union cut teller costs by 40 percent while increasing the hours during which customers can talk with tellers. Customers are more satisfied because the lines are shorter, Joe Mecca, marketing manager for Coastal Federal, told CNN. Tellers' jobs are also easier and they are less likely to quit.
Not all banks are signing on, however. Celent's survey also found some banks say they won't replace man with machine. "Several banks were adamant: 'If a customer enters one of my branches, I'll be darned if they are greeting by a machine,'" Meara said.