Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Bit by Bit: Technology leads the way in contactless society

by David Specht

Mack Slaughter | Special to BIZ. Magazine

Contactless services have been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. Companies like DoorDash™, GrubHUB™, and WAITR™ have amended their procedures to allow for contactless delivery where the drivers will leave food items at your front door. Others, like Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A, only hand you your food via a tray. One industry that has been moving forward with this since before the pandemic is the financial industry. Banks and credit unions have been leveraging technology to allow for self-administration for some time. Technologies like automated phone tellers, online banking, ATMs, and remote deposits capture (RDC). 

The most common contactless service customers are familiar with is the ATM or “automatic teller machine”. The first machine was introduced in 1969 by Chemical Bank in Rockville New York. Since then, it has seen massive technological improvements like checking balances, withdrawals, and deposits of both cash and check. Bank Tec South is a local ATM equipment company that supplies high tech ATMs to local financial institutions. 

Bank Tec South also specializes in ITMs (interactive teller machines). An ITM functions like an ATM but can have the added feature of the customer speaking with a live teller. 95% of all traditional in branch transactions can be accomplished at one of these machines. In addition, ITMs are being used instead of pneumatic tubes in drive thru lanes. Customers typically spend 8-12 minutes at a drive thru with a tube and spend only 3 minutes at an ITM. ITM live tellers can be located at that location or in another city, or even at home. As advances in 5G communications continue we will be seeing more innovative ways to utilize this technology in remote areas not serviced by traditional branches. Local institutes like Home Federal Bank and Barksdale Federal Credit Union are now utilizing ITMs at various locations. 

Technology will always adapt to our needs. With advances in communication technology, businesses can maintain a personal touch with customers while still allowing flexibility. The financial industry is a testament to continuing to strive for better performance and engagement.  

Mack Slaughter | Co-Owner / Director of Network Services | Allegiance, LLC