Trustmark in Jackson, Mississippi, had been testing video ATMs since 2017, starting with a branch lobby, a drive-thru driveway, and a “converted” branch sharing space with a cafe. The experiences were promising, but the company felt there was room for improvement.

So in 2019, he asked NCR, the provider of his interactive ticket machines, to help him make the devices more popular. Among other things, NCR determined the optimal locations for the devices and helped improve the presentation of the kiosks via video. Trustmark has also extended the hours of availability for live support. In four months, usage has increased by 40%, according to Trustmark officials.

While social distancing has boosted traffic to machines, their benefits are expected to outlast the pandemic. They can provide live help in low volume locations without requiring on-site kiosks, as well as a way to stretch resources by allocating 10 video kiosks to cover 45 machines, also known as ITMs.

“There are some situations where an ATM might not have completely filled the gaps that we needed in a location, but the concept of ITM seemed like it could,” said Joe Gibbs, director of ITM. customer experience for the $ 16.5 billion asset. Trusted brand.

The rise in usage also indicates ways in which other banks could maximize their ITM deployment.

NCR’s Trustmark myTeller interactive kiosks have been more successful in drive-throughs than in branches, where customers typically prefer to speak to a live teller.

NCR, in Atlanta, is a provider of video ATMs; Diebold Nixdorf and Hyosung offer their own versions. “We have certainly seen an increase in deployments of interactive video ATMs, especially over the past year due to the pandemic,” says Heather Gibbins, banking software sales manager for North-based Diebold Nixdorf. Canton, Ohio.

NCR has the most customers of any vendor, said Bob Meara, senior banking analyst at Celent, although only a handful have deployed these machines on a large scale. NCR claims to have over 14,000 activated ITMs at over 650 financial institutions around the world.

According to NCR, its devices go beyond the capabilities of traditional ATMs in several ways. They allow customers to withdraw money beyond usual limits, cash checks for up to a dime, and ask questions. MTIs can sit in the lobby of a branch instead of talking to a cashier in person; sub for checkout cabs and pneumatic tubes in coaches; or exist as a stand-alone setup in a non-traditional branch that does not have full-time employees.

Trustmark took several factors into account when deciding where to deploy its ITMs. In some places he wanted live support, but the volume didn’t justify keeping a teller. In others, Trustmark wanted to extend the hours that customers could receive help.

One lesson Gibbs learned is that location matters to ITMs. When ITMs were installed in certain Trustmark branch halls, customers were still drawn to the counters.

“It’s human behavior that if you see a machine and two or three wickets in it, you’re not going to get to the machine first,” Gibbs said.

But the devices have proven to be more effective in driveways, where they have replaced the counters at the service counters. Drive-thru ITMs also received a boost during the temporary branch closures in spring 2020.

Trustmark began consulting with NCR in February 2020 to determine how to increase traffic to its ITMs. This effort required a better understanding of the needs of its customers and how to make the video experience more engaging.

One change has been “to hire the right people, who aren’t afraid to look at the camera and are aware of their presence when they’re online,” Gibbs said.

The bank also used ITMs to extend on-site customer service hours where it made sense. For the most part, the weekday hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and perhaps until 6 p.m. on Fridays. In areas with early or late commuter traffic, ITMs provided service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. More recently, Trustmark has also started opening ITMs on Saturday mornings.

Today, Trustmark has distributed 45 ITMs on its footprint, along with 10 videographers. Its success in drive-through services influences its deployment strategy.

“We cover sites from Memphis [Tennessee] in Pensacola, Florida, ”Gibbs said. “It’s a pretty compelling story here, that we can build on staff in three to four states.”

While reaching millennials through this channel was not a specific goal, “we were hopeful that this segment would appeal to this segment,” Gibbs said. But he found that all generations use drive-thru services, and while millennials were initially more interested in ITMs, it wasn’t long before everyone started using them.

Meara warned that the situations where video kiosks make sense are quite limited. But they align with the situations in which Trustmark has been successful.

“The reason customers were willing to try new things was usually due to the extended hours,” Meara said.

He also finds that video kiosks are faster to use than pneumatic tubes in driveways, which means the user experience will likely be better. They can reduce the costs of keeping counters on site during off-peak periods. And video kiosks can also be used as a precursor to a full-service branch if the bank wants to test whether this investment is justified. But if a live teller is present, customers are always likely to start with them.

Overall, he doesn’t expect these devices to see the same wide-scale adoption as traditional ATMs.

Still, video kiosks may get an extra boost after the pandemic.

“In the early days of ITMs, video was not as common, especially among older demographics,” Meara said. “Now everyone has that experience, whereas five years ago it was a little weird.”

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