ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015 - (Page 36)
the High-touch side of
In the right setting, interactive teller machines can give financial
institutions a competitive edge-including an invaluable opportunity
to connect with customers.
bY JUlIe KNUDsoN
hen Citizens Bank of
Edmond in Oklahoma
sold some of its branches
to another financial
institution, it needed a
way to maintain engagement with
existing customers whose brick-andmortar location options had changed.
The solution? The interactive teller
machine (ITM). This high-tech, hightouch platform enabled the institution
to continue offering customers a
convenient banking option without
opening full replacement branches.
"We wanted to have a way where
we could still connect with our
customers even though we weren't
going to have a physical location
available for them," says Jill Castilla,
the bank's president and CEO.
Customer convenience was a primary
factor behind United Bank's decision
to deploy ITMs. The 110-year-old
community bank based in Zebulon,
Ga., operates in a number of counties
surrounding Atlanta and other
nearby population and job centers.
"A lot of our customer base has
historically left our footprint to drive
into the cities," explains CEO Jim
Edwards. With their early morning
departures and late evening arrivals,
he says customers often weren't
near a branch during regular banking
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | sEpTEmBEr/OcTOBEr 2015
hours. "Our initial interest in ITM
technology was to allow us to extend
live, face-to-face-albeit through a
video screen-customer service for
significantly longer hours than what
we were able to do cost effectively
through traditional bank branches."
Rather than risk losing customers to
other banks with branches located
deep within the job-intensive areas of
the region, ITMs enabled United Bank
to provide the convenience of banking
when and where it made sense.
Bank customers increasingly expect
that kind of anytime, anywhere
access. Whether it's placing pizza
orders online or asking questions of a
retailer through a live chat application,
today's consumers are embracing the
digital realm with astonishing speed.
The team at Houston-based Cadence
Bank saw the impending technology
shift as a way to gain a competitive
advantage. ITMs "seemed to fit with
how we visualize our desire to be a
more digital bank and to have a more
integrated customer experience,"
says Dann Lee, SVP of retail delivery.
Setting themselves apart from others
in the market was important, but it
wasn't everything. "We also thought
it might provide us some opportunity
to extend our reach," Lee adds.
By deploying ITMs, the bank has
extended its hours and established a
presence in locations where building
a branch didn't make sense or
wasn't possible. From managing cost
efficiencies to overseeing prudent
real estate decisions, ITM technology
has handily addressed a number
of internal and external issues.
A leader in the ITM space, NCR
Corporation saw an early use for
interactive technology as the country
emerged from the recession of 20072008. It was a difficult period for
community banks, and Jed Taylor,
general manager of interactive
banking at the Duluth, Ga.-based
technology powerhouse, says many
financial institutions were looking at
their five-year plans with new eyes.
"At that time, we saw a lot of people
looking to create branches in a much
more economical way," he recalls.
ITMs have further taken hold as
financial institutions continue
to pursue revenue generation
opportunities that spring from
improved consumer experiences,
such as "creating extended hours or
creating locations where they wouldn't
normally have a branch," Taylor says.
Implementation done right
Rarely does a one-size-fits-all
approach work when it comes to
technology. Each bank must examine
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015
POISED AND PROACTIVE ON THE FARM
MEETING CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE
INVESTING IN STRONG RURAL COMMUNITIES
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
BANKS IN INSURANCE
REAL ESTATE LENDING
FROM THE STATES
INNOVATIONS IN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015