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MiniBranch: Turn Every ATM into a Video Teller Machine

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

by Darren Smith | Originally published by CUInsight


A rise in self-service has led to a steady move for many financial institution 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 banks and 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, institutions can leverage current technology to meet account holder 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 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, like MiniBranch, can do all that PLUS connect consumers with a teller or call center representative through a bank or 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, through a customizable, turn-key solution like MiniBranch, can achieve comparable results without the high cost of buying ITMs or CORE integration. An account holder simply scans a QR code and engages in a video call or live chat with 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 bank or credit union’s website, consumers can easily 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 and community banks 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 when using video teller services.


But MiniBranch address language concerns by offering live chat with built-in translation services. Even better, the translation system is designed to provide service for both incoming and outgoing messages. English-speaking staff are able to understand the questions and concerns of users and users receive responses translated into their preferred language.


While the system doesn’t resolve communication problems should non-English speakers select a live video call, staff can direct these consumers to live chat services to help meet their needs.


Providing Advanced Technologies More Affordably

ITMs are a great solution for financial institutions 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 account holders. With the combination of mobile, web-based functionality, some well-placed QR codes, and a robust, multilingual back end, any credit union or bank 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.



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