TECH BYTE: ITMs are the Future of Banking

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — You don’t necessarily need to meet with someone in person to get good customer service.

There’s a new machine that makes it easier for some credit union members to handle their money.

“We’re on the forefront of a lot of technology with our online banking, our mobile banking, and with the ITMs,” said Lisa Elrod, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU).

Elrod says all but one of their 18 branches have those ITMs, or interactive teller machines.

“You walk up to the machine, touch the screen, and once you touch the screen, a live person comes on, and assists you with any of your normal teller transactions,” she said.

The machines can be used as an ITM, and as a regular ATM.

The tellers are located at TVFCU’s corporate headquarters in downtown Chattanooga.

Elrod says the machines make it more convenient for their customers, giving them quick access to their money.

“We now have 7 to 7 hours in our drive-thru locations, and at all of our Food City locations, so 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so you can stop in before work, after work. You don’t have to spend your lunch hour running to the credit union.”

Even if you’re intimidated by technology, the machines are easy to use.

“It’s very simple,” Elrod said. “Once you touch the screen, the staff will walk them through it. If you’re making a deposit, there’s a place on the machine that will light up, and you just lay your cash there, or lay your checks there, and it feeds into the machine.”

It’s almost like meeting with a teller in person.

“We want them to have the same quality service through the machine that they would get in the branch.”

And plenty of people are taking advantage of them. The ITMs are located in branch lobbies and drive-thrus, which Elrod says are always busy.

“In some cases they’re faster than a typical drive-thru, because the machine will count the cash, and it takes in the check, so you’re not sending a tube back and forth between the drive-thru into the teller, and getting it back, so it actually cuts down drive-thru time,” she said.

Elrod says they have 42 ITM machines right now, and will deploy a few more in the next couple of weeks.

She thinks more banks and credit unions will implement machines like this in the near future.

For more stories on how the latest technology can change your everyday life, visit the TechByte page.

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