Using Self-Service Technology to Solve Challenges Facing Financial Institutions

Author: Source Technologies

Many banks and credit unions face challenges with hiring, training, and retaining front-line teller staff, and they are increasingly turning to technology to fill the gap. The right strategy can help transform your financial institution into a consumer-centric organization while solving labor challenges and wage pressures.  

Self-service kiosks, like the Personal Teller Machine (PTM), are critical to solving these challenges. As customers gravitate toward innovative technologies that provide flexibility and control over their transactions, financial institutions must adapt self-service technology to meet consumer expectations, lower costs, and solve hiring challenges. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of utilizing self-service kiosks, or lobby kiosks, to improve the user experience within your branch network. 

The Rise of Self-Service Kiosks In The Financial Industry 

Until the rise of online and mobile banking, the ATM was the only self-service kiosk known in the financial services industry for over 30 years. The wide acceptance of these technologies for banking activities among consumers has impacted foot traffic in branches. As a result, financial institutions are transforming their brick-and-mortar locations from transaction-centric cost centers to sales-centric assets.  

While it's true that fewer consumers are coming into their local branch to conduct transactions, there is still foot traffic coming into them, and these transactions must be serviced. Banking self-service kiosks aim to bridge the gap between online and in-branch services while connecting to consumers and enhancing their overall banking experience. Self-service kiosks allow consumers to complete many more transaction types than an ATM without waiting in line, mimicking the convenience of digital banking. By adopting self-service technology, banks can optimize their resources and allow staff to focus on providing better customer service and cross-selling initiatives.

The Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks such as the Personal Teller Machine allow consumers to complete 90% of the transactions traditionally handled by a teller, without assistance. They differ from ATMs and ITMs in the variety of transactions they can perform. Let's discussed the differences using these “Five F’s”: 

1. Footprint 

At just 1.2 sq. ft, Personal Teller Machines can be installed, with no construction required. The footprint and size provide flexibility to place the kiosk anywhere in your branch, even as an island or up against the existing teller line. As a rule of thumb, all branch staff need to be able to see across the branch for security purposes. Our personal teller machines are the perfect size because the unit does not block line-of-sight when placed anywhere in the branch and is also small enough to move around without large expense.  

2. Functionality

Personal Teller Machines are more capable than just receiving cash like an ATM. They offer many more transaction options and perform many major teller functions, such as:   

•    Cash and Check Deposits
•    Check cashing down to the penny.
•    Cash Withdraws
•    Official check and Money Order printing
•    Cash handling
•    Bill Payments
•    Statement Printing
•    And More!

3. Fee Elimination

ATM transactions require banks to pay a “transaction fee” for every transaction processed because they operate on national ATM “rails.” Our personal teller machines connect to a financial institutions teller system, making it free for the financial institution to process transactions. 

4. Flexibility

Our self-service kiosk software platform has the ability to easily make user interface changes. The PTM interface can be updated to highlight services most used in the branch or highlight upcoming promotional offers. This can help increase engagement with advertising efforts and improve overall brand recognition. A self-service strategy can also help your financial institution support consumers during peak branch traffic and help support vacation schedules for front-line staff.

5. Financial

Many states are increasing their minimum wage, resulting in wage pressure for many financial institutions hiring entry-level positions. A Personal Teller Machine can help minimize branch staff requirements, because they require minimal staff for full functionality. In addition, they cost 20-30% less than an ATM and offer 2X the number of transaction types. This can reduce operational costs for your branch by requiring less time and resources to train staff members on services that can be easily performed by the Personal Teller Machine. By migrating routine transactions to the self-service banking kiosk, tellers can dedicate more time to customer service, facilitating high-value product purchases and cross-sales. Digital kiosks can also become an alternative to full-service locations if you are looking to expand your reach without opening a new brick-and-mortar location. 

The Sixth "F" of Kiosk Benefits: Focus on User Experience

The most important kiosk benefit in terms of impact and user adoption is to Focus on the user experience.  One of the primary purposes of self-service kiosks is to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience. With a design that mimics the familiarity of smartphones, consumers can easily navigate through the interface and complete transactions with minimal effort. Personal Teller Machines offer various authentication methods, such as online sign-in, debit card or credit card swipe, biometric palm scanner, or in-person identification, ensuring flexibility and convenience for users. Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” That’s why our Personal Teller Machine is designed specifically with the user experience in mind: 

•    The size and orientation of the screen mimic the smartphone.
•    Users can choose an authentication method: online sign-in, debit card or credit card swipe, palm vein, or request a              banker for in-person identification.
•    Large, easy-to-read buttons on the screen make it easy for the user to choose the next steps.
•    On-screen animations and LED lights guide users through every transaction.

Visiting a financial institution in person can sometimes be a time-consuming and inconvenient process. Digital self-service kiosks streamline financial transactions and can help consumers complete their requests without ever talking to a staff member. They often reduce waiting times while increasing privacy and the possibility of human error. Instead of waiting in line for a teller, consumers can scan their IDs and bank cards before completing a routine transaction at a self-service kiosk and be out the door in seconds. 

At Source Technologies, our Personal Teller Machine offers financial institutions self-service technology and integrated kiosk software that can bridge the gap between digital and in-person environments. Why not utilize the same technology that retailers use, allowing customers to pre-order banking transactions on their phones? These “pre-staged” transactions are complete when the consumer stops by the local  branch, authenticates through the NFC reader on the self-service kiosk, and the transaction is presented on the screen for completion. When bank staff aren’t consumed with processing routine transactions, they can focus their attention on providing better customer service and cross-sell initiatives. Even with the adoption of online and mobile banking, consumers still rely on branches for financial advice, account opening, and more. By connecting the mobile digital experience with self-service technology in the branch, such as the Personal Teller Machine by Source Technologies, financial institutions make it faster and easier than ever to “stop by the bank” during your lunchtime errands. 

By incorporating self-service kiosks into your branches, you can increase customer service and provide consumers with more options for their banking needs. These small, but powerful machines are a great way to reduce costs while innovating the financial and banking industry. To see these top 6 self-service kiosk benefits in action, watch the Personal Teller Machine demo, or contact our sales team today to learn more.