Digital adopters to the left. Teller traditionalists to the right. Where is your financial institution? Stuck in the middle. If the 1970s rock band Stealers Wheel were to perform a rendition of their classic jingle, these lyrics could describe the situation many banks and credit unions are faced with these days.
On the one hand, there's no denying digital is both the present and the future of modern banking. Even three years ago, close to 60% of customers preferred digital to any other banking vehicle, according to a Gallup survey. That share has since risen.
But on the flip side, banks don't want to risk alienating those consumers who genuinely enjoy the relationship they have with tellers and appreciate the high-touch services they provide. A common concern is that digital migration could risk that relationship.
"Implementing a teller cash automation program can serve as an effective middle ground."
What's a bank or credit union to do? Implementing a teller cash automation program serves as an effective middle ground by actually enhancing the high-touch engagement tellers have with their loyal customers, not subtracting from it, and positioning the institution on the cutting edge of technology.
How can you know for sure that teller cash automation will be right for you? By asking these seven questions:
1. Is cash automation appropriate for my branch environment?
You might as well get down to brass tacks and ask this question right off the bat. So first take a look at the behavior of those you serve. As reported by The Financial Brand, over 75% of consumers have used online banking in the last three months and 52% have utilized mobile banking. Furthermore, 40% of Americans go to their ATM between 8 and 10 times per month. The technological savviness of bank customers and credit union members should not be underestimated, and it is the uncommon branch where progress would be unwelcome.
2. If yes, what type of cash automation equipment should be implemented?
While cash recyclers and dispensers use the same technologies, their functionalities are quite different. With dispensers, it's unidirectional: Cash is manually loaded and subsequently dispensed. Cash recyclers are multipurpose, by virtue of their ability to accept, dispense, audit, sort and count. Instead of devoting manpower to these laborious tasks, cash recyclers allow you to redeploy your resources to ultimately better serve the customer. Deciding whether you need both is a something you must tackle on a case-by-case basis, with consideration for space, security and customer volume.
3. Can the teller role be redeployed?
Banks are increasingly becoming venues for one-stop financial services shopping. From home equity loans to business loans, savings accounts to wealth management solutions, customers need personal, one-on-one services that automation can't provide. Not only that, customers much prefer to interact with an actual person for certain financial services, according to separate Gallup polling.
4. Can cash inventories be optimized?
The best way to optimize inventory derives from understanding how your customers most commonly use cash and in what amounts. For example, 56% of people use cash for purchases of between $20 and $30, according to CardTronics data. Consideration for customer spending and payment behavior helps you anticipate your in-branch needs. The amount of cash you have on hand is intertwined with cash flow.
5. Can cash-in transit be minimized?
The increased cost of handling is a burden to financial institutions, and the physical transit of cash presents a security risk for banks and credit unions nationwide. It can be minimized, however, by adopting cash recycling technology and observing in-branch behavior. Consumers are creatures of habit. You should be able to get a read on how much cash you need on hand by recognizing traffic patterns during business hours. And cash recyclers have a surprisingly high capacity for secure storage of cash on the retail floor.
6. Can tellers change focus during some transactions?
Most of the work done within the typical FI facility is customer-facing. However, 20% of staff's time is devoted to back-office tasks, according to a Celent survey. Teller cash automation provides institutions with more flexibility by streamlining work processes and allowing personnel to juggle multiple demands without losing sight of what is most important – the customer.
7. Can balancing time and accuracy be positively impacted?
Time management has never been more important to success. Transactions must be performed quickly and accurately to reduce wait times, improve customer satisfaction and minimize inefficiencies. The accounting, dispensing and security features of cash recyclers represents the one-two punch banks need to constantly remain on their toes.
The bottom-line: Teller cash automation optimization can make your bank better in every way imaginable – today, tomorrow and on down the line. Contact us here at BranchServ to learn more about how the signature services and equipment we provide can help you move from the middle to the head of the pack.