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Why Is There a Person in Your ATM?

Kelly explained that under the current model, a bank needs to staff its locations regardless of the cost, which often means money spent on expensive urban real estate and salaries for under-used staff in rural locations. With systems such as the Personal Teller Machine or Teller Assist, a bank can centralize its staff in lower-cost locations, reducing the overhead of both property and time. These savings could come just in the nick of time for Bank of America, which has seen its profits decline sharply over the last few years.

Kelly envisions more and more banks shifting in this direction, driven by both savings and a changing generation's embrace of technology.

"The younger you are, I think you'll be more comfortable," he said. "They've grown up in a new world of digital interaction."

The model has worked very well for CFCU, with Mecca describing it as a great success for both the credit union and its customers. Due to the new system, branches have been able to keep longer hours with shorter wait times than before, he said, and customer response has been positive.

Still, while video tellers may be the wave of the future, Kelly doesn't expect them to completely replace the neighborhood banker anytime soon.

"I think [personal interaction] is preferable for a more complex transaction," he said, "People want to go in and talk to their financial advisor or wealth advisors. That's a very relationship based product. You're always going to need a face to face basis there, and I don't think that's going to go away."
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