In a controversial move, the Bank of America has elected to incorporate video chat into their ATMs, which they say will help confused customers.
Most people understand video chat to be a nifty and very useful gadget that belongs in one of three locations. It either belongs in the home and can be used to communicate with out of town (or out of country) family and friends, for some, it’s used in the work place, when conference calls and business calls need to take place and a phone call just won’t cut it, or, as many people use it on the iPhone, Facetime offers video chatting on the go, for when you just can’t wait to get home and video chat from your computer. The place that most people don’t believe video chatting belongs is at the ATM.
Possibly more controversial than any banks’ decisions during the Wall Street crash that brought on the latest bought of financial disruptions, the Bank of America has opted to include video chat in their ATMs, meaning that BoA customers will be able to talk to a Bank of America teller via video link in order to get help with withdrawing or depositing their money.
Officially called ‘Teller Assist’, the aforementioned tellers will be able to ‘assist’ with more complex transactions, including times when the customer want to deposit or withdraw and exact cash amount of either $1, $5, $20 or $100. Set to be available in both English and Spanish, Teller Assist will also allow customers to cash checks and get the money down to the exact cent.
In the future, Teller Assist will allow users to “split a deposit into two or more accounts” and “make loan or credit card payments”, but for now, while the feature is set to make its test debut in Boston this month (making its way to the rest of the US later in 2013), only cashing checks and withdrawing/depositing money will be available from 7am to 10pm daily (the operating times of Teller Assist).
While Bank of America say that this is a move to provide customers with an easier way to bank, as Teller Assist gives, according to them, “the same quality of personal assistance they would if they walked up to a banking center counter” the concerns come with the feature’s security and customers will obviously be worried that somehow the cameras have been hacked and that the person they are talking to may not, in fact be a trusted, official Bank of America employee and is instead just a very convincing con artist out for their money.
How successful Teller Assist proves to be will be seen once Bank of America roll out the service America-wide throughout the year.
Source : engadget