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Banks are increasingly pushing customers to use ATMs, which is convenient for us and, most importantly, cheaper for them. Still, sometimes you need to talk to a human being, and if you don’t have a local branch nearby, finding someone to talk to can be a frustrating experience. A new program by POSB in Singapore maybe offer the solution to this frustration; the bank is putting a teller in the ATM.
Now, obviously, the teller isn’t actually in the ATM—they’ll communicate via a video screen—but the idea finally makes ATM’s a realistic alternative to a bank branch. Customers can use the ATM the way they would a normal machine, but if they need to talk to a person for more complicated issues they can connect to one via video chat. Users are verified via a biometric scanner, reducing the risk of unauthorized use.
These special video teller machines (VTMs) can handle far more situations than your standard ATM. If you lose your debit card the VTM can replace it for you. Remember, you don’t need your card anymore to use the VTM, it uses you biometric data to let you sign into your account. In addition, users can ask the teller questions about their account via the video chat feature.
Currently there is only one VTM working as part of POSB’s pilot program, and it only works during limited hours. After all, they still have to pay a teller. As the program continues more VTM’s will open up. Hopefully this service catches on around the world. If you’ve ever felt the pain of finding a bank branch in a new city the idea of getting all your banking done at an ATM is an intriguing one. Be the change you want to see in the world POSB. Spread this good idea around.
John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adopter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.