10/1/2014

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Consumer

Upgraded interactive ATMs to roll out nationwide

Upgraded interactive ATMs to roll out nationwide

ATMs do a few things very well, like accept deposits and dispense cash. It turns out these marvelous machines can do much more when human tellers are involved in the transaction.

The new interactive teller technology from NCR does just that.

With these ATMs, a customer can talk to a bank teller on a video monitor and do things that would not be possible otherwise.

For example, if you forgot your ATM card, you could prove your identity to that human teller with a driver's license.

This is not a simple video chat. The teller on the screen is remotely controlling that machine and all of its functions. So, you can cash a check - to the penny - and vary the denomination of the bills you get.

Want singles or five dollar bills rather than 20's? Not a problem at this machine.

Bank of America believes this is "the future of banking. This spring it started installing ATMs with this 2-way technology in Boston and Atlanta.

Right now, customers can talk to that virtual teller in English or Spanish. More languages may be added in the future. 

Bank of America says customer feedback has been "tremendous."

Something else new is headed your way: Apps for interacting with these bank machines.

Diebold just announced the first ATMs with what it calls "mobile cash access."

Wintrust Financial Corporation, which owns community banks in the Chicago area, will be the first to roll-out Diebold's mobile-enabled machines later this year.

With the app, customers can preload transactions at their convenience. Then when they get to the machine, they just push a button and a GR code comes up on the screen. The phone reads the GR code and tells the machine what you want to do.

So is this a secure way to bank? Well, since there's no card involved, a mobile app eliminates the risk of skimming - where an identity thief steals your account number as you insert the card into the machine.

The phone is secure because your account information is stored in the cloud, not on the device. And, you'll need a pin to use it.

Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit The ConsumerMan website.

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