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Teller-Assist Kiosks vs. ATMs-The Differences

Question: I've been seeing more trade articles lately on teller kiosks, but they sound a lot like some of the newer ATMs. Are there any real differences as to what kiosks can offer over ATMs?

Answer: There certainly are differences between the two. "Transactional" or "teller-assisted" kiosks are next-generation technology built from the ground up on Internet computing platforms, which gives them greater flexibility. Certainly many banks and ATM vendors are updating their ATM technology also in order to accommodate the new services that ATM customers want, like real-time bill payment, check cashing, and issuing teller checks.

The main difference is that kiosks are designed as extensions of the teller window (and the teller platform). Unlike ATMs, which operate stand-alone by design, kiosks let tellers actively monitor customers' transactions. From behind the glass, they can step in as needed to finish a transaction or provide information to a customer.

Why is this a big deal? Focus groups have shown that people who don't like ATMs love managing their own transactions on a kiosk because the teller is right there to help them if needed. That's pretty obvious. But here's something we didn't expect: Given the choice, hard-core ATM users will go past the ATM and into the bank to use a kiosk for the same reason!

Will kiosks replace ATMs? Of course not. But they do represent a new way to touch the customer, improve customer satisfaction, increase up-sell and cross-sell, and gain big operational improvements in the branch.

Source Technologies Founded in 1986, Source Technologies provides integrated solutions for managing financial transactions and other secure business processes. Products include MICR printers and consumables, secure disbursement software, and the groundbreaking concourse self-service banking kiosks. Source Technologies has created over $400 million in economic value for customers in the last ten years.

First published on 8/01/05

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