Solutions to The New Disaster Recovery Dilemma

Interactive/Video/Personal Teller Machines (ITM/PTM)

What have we learned from the recent Pandemic? Very few financial institutions were prepared to provide their client’s and employee’s the ability to transact business in a completely safe environment. Most Disaster Recovery plans were built around natural occurrences (earthquakes, tornados, floods, and power outages) not an invisible virus that is highly contagious and deadly. As a former community bank president with experience developing disaster recovery plans, I can honestly say that we never posed the following question:

A global Pandemic has broken out infecting thousands in your local community. Infected persons do not realize they are carrying the virus, as symptoms do not start immediately. Your staff is becoming ill and those who are not sick have become frightened they will be infected by coworkers and clients. How do you continue to keep your financial institution operating and the critical money supply flowing?

What an unimaginable set of circumstances that no one was equipped to handle. The most well-prepared financial institutions were those that had invested in the latest automated teller technologies. The Interactive/Video/Personal Teller Machine (ITM/PTM) has proven to be a game changer during the recent Pandemic as it allows the client to interact with their local teller without entering the branch or sending cash/checks/deposit slips/payment coupons through a vacuum tube that can carry the virus. This is a twofold benefit as both the client and the banker are protected.

Most financial industry executives are generally familiar with ITM/PTM technology as it has been in place for several years. However, replacing traditional ATMs as well as drive thru deal drawers/vacuum tubes with ITMs/PTMs has not yet taken hold in the majority of financial institutions. The relatively slow adoption is due to the upfront cost of the machines combined with the enhanced technology support requirements, as well as the reconfiguration of the drive thru lanes in order to achieve an acceptable return on investment. As a refresher, the below list of benefits has been updated to include the Pandemic threat.

  • The ITM/PTM eliminates the risk of spreading a virus through personal contact at the teller line or via the drive thru tube as the machine handles the cash and instruments. This is all accomplished while still providing personal service.
  • An ITM/PTM can be placed in a branch lobby, vestibule just outside the branch, a modified drive thru island (ITM/PTM is wider than typical curbing), freestanding in a branch parking lot with small or large canopy, any parking lot or building that has power and data.
  • An ITM/PTM can complete complex transactions, such as making a loan payment, transferring money between accounts, real time check deposits, split deposits with cash back, depositing into multiple accounts, and generally anything your friendly local teller can do across the counter except give you a sucker.
  • The teller is actually sitting behind a computer screen with camera/audio at a remote call center location (some clients allow tellers to work from home) serving multiple machines, which can dramatically reduce staffing. This is a significant component of the Cost/Benefit Analysis.
  • Some ITM/PTM models can function as either a fully functioning ITM/PTM or a traditional ATM for simple deposits and withdrawals without interacting with a live teller. These selfserve transactions are extremely efficient, and our clients indicate that the vast majority of their ITM transactions are performed in this mode.
  • Hours of operation are no longer limited to branch staffing as the machine never sleeps. The “call teller” feature can be left on for after hours operation so long as you are willing to staff you call center. Furthermore, the machine operates as an ATM when your call center is closed

In summary, an ITM/PTM network has four key benefits:

  • Disaster Recovery/Pandemic Protection
  • Immediate Return on Investment
  • Staffing Reduction/Flexibility
  • Extended hours

We have extensive experience implementing ITM/PTM Networks and can put our Five Step Process to work for you and have you up and running in less than six months.

  1.  Identification
  2.  Evaluation
  3.  Selection
  4. Production
  5.  Action

Contact Brit Boatright, Chief Strategy Officer @ bboatright@sf.services or (901) 237-4431 for further details

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