Avoid bank tellers, save cash
Banks are saving money by replacing tellers with technology, which could mean savings for customers who embrace teller-free banking.
This post comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.
A growing number of banks are adding feature-laden ATMs, video tellers and other technologies to let customers complete a wider variety of banking tasks on their own, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
For example, you might be able to purchase a money order or withdraw cash in increments other than $20 bills. Some banks estimate they have cut costs by up to 40% by trading tellers for technology.
Experts say banking customers who prefer seeing a teller won't pay more than they currently are for the privilege. Since banks still use branches as sales floors to push everything from credit cards to savings accounts, they're unlikely to stop making tellers available, says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for rate-tracker Bankrate.com.
More likely, they say, consumers will see banks waive fees for do-it-yourself banking. "Some accounts are designed for more self-service," McBride says. For example, Bank of America's eBanking account is free for accountholders who choose emailed statements and use ATMs and online access to make deposits and withdrawals. Want to use a teller? The usual $8.95 monthly fee kicks back in.
Most consumers can switch to teller-less banking easily, says Stephanie Wei, vice president of deposit products for NerdWallet, a comparison site. But she adds there are still a few cases where it's usually better to seek out help from a professional, such as arranging wire transfers, ordering foreign currency or obtaining a signature guarantee.
A teller is also the best option for any task that needs immediate processing: ATMs may not process checks deposited until the end of the day, while a teller can often make funds available immediately.
More from SmartMoney and MSN Money:
ATM's are great for a quick withdrawl.
After that, I prefer seeing and talking to a teller. And if I have to wait 10 minutes, Oh well.
( If thats the worst that happens, I got it made)
Uhm... no. Banks make to much money as it is. The people who run them are like eyes on the patrens. They know who you are and know you by name... mostly. A machine can be ignorant and carry no personal touch. I would avoid banks who go total or mostly machine. I don't even use the auto check outs at the local box store. So... no.
These surveys don't ever seem to have the right responses. "Do you prefer an ATM or a teller ?" For cash, an ATM is fine. But for anything else, I prefer a teller.
I saw this coming 20 years ago when I was a bank teller, working my way through college.
An online transaction costs the bank 2 cents. The same transaction with a teller costs the bank $2.00. You do the math.
Give it time, and they'll turn the savings from not paying tellers into yet more fees (above and beyond the fees associated to using a non bank networked ATM, which already hurts the customer's bottom line)... They they might like to pass costs onto customers, passing savings, well.... This would also give them more to pad the pockets of their top execs with bonuses, along the way....
Just remember what BofA and others tried to do with the debit card fee, arguing it as a convenience fee (exactly what they can turn around and due with the ATMs here); even though the banks SAVED (the reason for the initial push when they tried to get merchants to honor them); all on the grounds that they wouldn't have to process paper checks... In the end, the banks would be all for saving a dime in a way that could allow them to pass another usery fee onto the customer (hence getting more money out of people, vs paying a salary).... Oh they might not right away (even as it was years before they tried that with debit cards); but give it time....
I was a teller and got wrote up for a quota that the bankers did not fill.
I got people to the bankers, but they have to sign them up for the solution (sale), but this was my fault. So just be warned tellers are looking at your history to find something to get you to a banker. Even if you don't need that something, got to get that quota, right
My bank uses tellerless banking. As long as I use the ATM for all of my banking and do not use checks I pay no service fees. I was hesitant at first but I now find this to be a very good way of banking. The only issue I have is that they need to provide more drive up ATMs to speed up the time you have to wait to get to your business.
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