UAE to get first interactive teller machines

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The UAE’s largest lender, Emirates NBD, is preparing to roll out the Gulf’s first interactive teller machines (ITMs) that allow customers to talk with centrally located bank staff via real-time video at any time of the day.

The ITMs will allow customers to conduct about 95 percent of their banking without entering a branch, while replicating face-to-face teller services, managing director for South Gulf and Pakistan of NCR, the company that developed the machines, Habib Hanna said.

“[Customers] interact with an actual teller who can be sitting anywhere,” Hanna said.

“They can see each other but at the same time – and this is a major difference – the teller takes full control of the machine, meaning the teller can initiate transactions on behalf of the consumer.”

That made the technology more friendly for consumers uncomfortable with non-face-to-face banking, such as seniors, Hanna said.

Like ATMs, ITMs do not need to be linked to a branch and are available 24/7, providing more convenience for customers, particularly those in remote areas, to conduct their banking.

The machines also include an ID scanner and a signature pad, making it possible for customers to withdraw more cash than their standard ATM daily limit.

“If a person wants to cash a cheque, instead of going to a branch they can do it at the machine because there’s verification [methods],” Hanna said.

The technology also would help banks to have greater access to customers who rarely visited a branch, he said.

“This is a bridge between the convenience for consumers and the gap of products that you can’t sell except in a branch,” he said.

“[For example] their loan could be about to expire and the teller can tell him ‘by the way, while I’m doing this transaction with you, your loan is about to expire’. That could be turned into an opportunity that turns into a sale for the bank.

“It’s really being a match between what consumers are looking for, which is service and convenience, [and] giving the opportunity for financial operators to be able to serve customers but at the same time create more customer streams. [It could also lead to] operational efficiency for the bank.”

Similar to a call centre, the tellers would be located in a central office and could operate numerous tellers across a wide region.

Hanna denied the technology would lead to a reduction in bank branches and staff and said the cheaper costs meant it was more likely to increase the spread of banks’ presence to new areas, as well as extend operating hours outside traditional teller hours.

Emirates NBD has ordered a collection of the ITMs but has not yet revealed where they will be installed.

General Manager, Retail Banking, Suvo Sarkar, said the machines would provide customers with flexibility and convenience by extending banking hours.

Hundreds of ITMs already have been installed in the US since March 2012.

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Posted by: Glen

Look around and you will see that banks in the U.A.E. really dont understand their customers needs or the purpose of an ATM machine.
One bank in Jebeli Ali has an ATM machine otside that has a notice on it "SORRY OUT of ORDER use ATM inside" what use is this auto teller when the bank is closed no one is able to get inside. When you go to their nearest branch on SZR 30 km away 2 out of 23 times you get a message, ATM under maintenance.

Go to IBN Batuta and you will find one of the largest International banks shuts in their ATM machines when the staff leave. Once again here the autotellers rarely work and all you here from the staff is we have reported the fault.

Let bankers perfect and correctly utilise what is available and this will reduce the need for other sophisticated equipment which will not be correctly utilised.

Posted by: Jav

From what I know these devices are deployed to replace normal ATMs so if you would like cash and dash out, you could still do that on a normal ATM. This device will allow consumers to do things they are unable to do after branch hours like cashing a check or withdrawing cash when you do not have your ATM card on you for example...

Posted by: nimby

Am all for technology and we have this in homes on our PCs "talking" to an agent whilst on line.
That is different. It is the comfort of the home.
It does sound worrying though in a crowded place with everyone around. Privacy and confidentiality the main key.
Does anyone have experience of this anywhere else to share? Says it is all over the US but I have have never heard of it.

Posted by: Hisham

This sounds highly annoying. Imagine just wanting to take out some money and there's someone who's getting all kinds of advice. And then, depending on how these machines are shielded off, there's of course a privacy issue. Would you really take care of your banking business behind this machine with someone standing right behind you to take out some money? I guess we'll see when they're implemented, but this sales pitch is very unappealing...

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