Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Type: Tellerless Branch / Interactive Teller Machine
Owner: Campus Federal Credit Union
Architect: Labarre Architects, APAC
Contractor: Milton J. Womack, Inc.
Completion Date: 2014
Campus Federal Credit Union has been one company to fully invest in the tellerless / interactive teller machine system. In 2014, they opened two branches with interactive teller machines, started construction on a third branch with the technology inside their lobby and within a drive through, and created a remote call center at their headquarters building.
The previous branch in Our Lady of the Lake hospital was small and tucked away inside of the main hospital building. Traffic was not natural and it was easy to miss the credit union’s location.
In response to these problems, Campus Federal acquired a lease for a larger space (approximately 1,100 square feet) to open a couple offices, small conference area, and break room for their employees. The lobby holds two interactive teller machines and is completely open to the atrium of the Medical Plaza Tower. The seamless transition from hospital corridor to the lobby is inviting and intends to pull people in.
The interactive teller machines are able to do something that traditional teller lines cannot do, which is allow the lobby to be completely open 24 hours a day, and move the secure walls inward toward the office and break room areas. While not currently implemented, the interactive teller machines will eventually have the ability to have access to a teller all day, every day, instead of members only having access to an ATM for withdrawals and deposits. The machines do have the ability to be a remotely controlled piece of equipment by the tellers in the call center, which allows the credit union to open up different types of transactions and interactions that would not be available to an average ATM without tubes. Transactions can also be monitored by bank employees. This technology also opens up options for smaller micro-branches and stand alone interactive teller machine drive throughs without a branch because no tubes are needed.
The branch initially received attention for its unique openness and the thrill of new technology. Members coming in to check out the new technology, and returning to show other people, was a unique opportunity to sell other products, catch up with members and get to know their needs as customers, and opened up potential for new members who were interested in being a part of this convenient branch that would be open to them on their schedule.
The call center had very specific requirements for this type of interaction as well. Lighting, acoustics, backdrops, cameras, and cubicles which are taller than standard cubes are necessary for the member to see and hear the teller clearly. Training for the teller to look directly into the camera is paramount to giving a member the one-on-one feel across technology and typically takes 1 to 3 weeks. Additionally, it is recommended that when hiring staff, that an interview be done over Skype or some other similar web-based program to judge their natural ability to present themselves on camera.
The upfront cost for specialized bank equipment, call center set up, training, and renovation of branches is in some cases prohibitively expensive, but the pay back period for implementing several branches at the same time is a relatively short period of time through savings in staffing costs. This method of pay back considerations doesn’t take into account the potential in higher sales that may occur when a concierge and MSRs are free to chat and talk to members about added needs, or the added clientel for members who need a branch that responses to schedules that do not normally fit into bank hours.