Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Kiosks replace counters at bank

Have you been to an updated Washington Mutual bank lately? Interactive kiosks have taken the place of tellers' booths, and free range bankers will help you on an a'la carte fashion. As somebody quite used to the wait-in-line style of banking a'la Wachovia and friends, I have to say that on the surface it certainly looks quite appealing. And during quiet times of the day, when the bank is nearly empty, it works quite well. But try going in at 4PM on a payday, and it's as if all hell has broken loose... at least at some of the banks around my area. But I'm not the only one with questions and concerns about this:
Customers walking into a Washington Mutual bank can expect something different, however. A smattering of computer stalls in a somewhat circular design replace the traditional counters and teller windows....

Now I like distance in life. My failed relationships are proof. So I don't mind the marble counters at most banks. At Washington Mutual, they stand right next to you while they navigate the computer screen, showing your balance and transaction – very European.

Then, a receipt pops out with a code. Walk to one of two designated cash machines, and you can type in the code. Out pops your cash after three quick counts by the machine. I can dig getting my cash quick.

After leaving the bank, I had some questions. What do they do when it's a busy lunch time and people are swarming the room? How do they help everyone out? And why didn't I take some time to play Super Mario Brothers 3 on the GameBoys hooked up to the wall in the children's waiting section?
If you've never read a first-hand account of going to the bank (and I'm guessing you haven't), check out this article. It's actually much more interesting than one would think :)

No comments: