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Bank of America rolls out ATMs with video links to real tellers

April 04, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • Bank of America is rolling out automated teller machines that allow customers to video chat with real tellers outside of normal banking hours.
Bank of America is rolling out automated teller machines that allow customers… (Bank of America )

It's simple these days to video chat with your daughter when she's in Thailand. Why not talk to a teller when the bank is closed?

Bank of America Corp. has begun rolling out ATMs with video displays that enable customers to speak with a bank employee from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“We know that customers want to bank on their schedule -- not ours,” Katy Knox, BofA’s retail banking executive, said in a news release.

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The ATMs, with teller assistance in English and Spanish, are being introduced in Boston and Atlanta, BofA said Thursday, with other markets to follow. The bank didn’t disclose exactly when the devices will pop up in California and other regions.

The teller-assisted ATMs are capable of spewing out bills in various denominations and coins as well, so customers can cash checks for the full amount or withdraw precise amounts.

Additional transactions to be added in the future include splitting deposits into two or more accounts, and making loan or credit card payments, the bank said.

Automated teller machines have been gradually evolving beyond the simple functions of taking deposits, dispensing $10 or $20 bills and transfering funds from account to account.

Wells Fargo & Co. is upgrading its ATMs to tailor the offerings that come up first depending on a customer's favorite transactions in the past. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is introducing ATMs that provide advanced payment functions and pay out bills in multiple denominations. Citibank has ATMs with video-conferencing capabilities in three Asian countries.

While unusual, the video ATMs are not the first in the United States. NCR Corp., a Duluth, Ga., technology provider for banks and retailers, has deployed interactive ATMs for banks in about 20 states and is working with Bank of America on its rollout, an NCR spokesman said.

[For the Record, 1.32 p.m. April 4:  An earlier version of this post said that the video ATMs were the first of their kind in the United States. NCR Corp. has deployed them previously for other banks.]

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