JPMorgan Chase & Co. will soon be introducing new self-service kiosks in the southwest Ohio market.
The first one comes to a newly built Chase branch office opening in Blue Ash in Hamilton County.
The kiosks are next-generation automated teller machines that can do everything ATMs can do now, plus more functions typically performed by tellers. Customers can use the kiosks to cash checks, withdraw money in multiple denominations including $1, $5, $20 and $50 bills, pay credit card bills and buy money orders, said Chase spokeswoman Emily Smith.
Chase currently has 400 of these high-tech kiosks in place around the country, including central Ohio, and plans to double the number by the end of this year, Smith said. The kiosks, which look like giant iPads, are going inside branch lobbies and drive-throughs.
The Blue Ash location, 9019 N. Plainfield Road, opens in April with four self-service kiosks on-site, said Natalie Watral, the Chase retail district manager overseeing 12 offices between Middletown and Blue Ash.
Another kiosk opens sometime this year at University of Cincinnati. More Cincinnati and Dayton locations are to be determined.
“I think initially we’re going to get customers who see it and don’t really know what it is,” Watral said.
“If you picture a traditional branch today where tellers are positioned behind the teller line, we’ll still have that,” she said. But Chase is also using the technology to help “our tellers at this location and our bankers to be very active with our customers out in the lobby.”
This follows a larger trend reported by the newspaper of banks focusing on e-commerce and new ways of delivering services, sometimes shedding bank branches as they cut costs.
KeyCorp and PNC Financial Services Group have cost-cutting efforts that include thinning branch networks. PNC plans to focus on serving more customers digitally, which is less expensive than one-on-one customer transactions that traditionally take place in a bank branch.
Companies are still opening branch offices where it makes sense, including Chase and PNC.
Chase’s roll out of self-service kiosks doesn’t require additional staffing, Smith said.
“If we can free up tellers from processing transactions, they can assist customers on the floor and help build relationships,” she said. “Remember, when ATMs were first introduced, everyone thought they would replace tellers and that certainly hasn’t been the case.”
ATM technology is becoming more advanced, helping banks reduce costs and operate more efficiently, said Bob Tramontano, NCR Corp. vice president of marketing. NCR, the former Dayton-based company, is a major maker of ATMs.
Most product sales — 70 to 80 percent — occur in a branch, but brick-and-mortar offices are expensive assets that can take several years to break even, Tramontano said. He said 40 percent of branches are unprofitable.
Installing ATMs with new technologies gives banks and other financial institutions an added presence, with extended hours, but without the risk and expense of a branch, he said.
“Customers are looking for more convenience and better customer service,” he said. With new ATM technologies, “We think the bank is going to be able to sell more and they’re going to do it in a lower cost structure.”
Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp is upgrading and replacing more than 135 ATMs in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, which was previously announced.
First Financial’s new NCR-made ATM features include: envelope-free deposits, multiple deposits in one transaction, images that capture the front and back of checks, check images on receipts, touch screens, and deposits processed same day until 8:45 p.m.
Fairborn-based Wright-Patt Credit Union also introduces this year new personal teller machines — NCR ATMs with video that let customers interact directly with remote tellers. The first Wright-Patt video ATMs will be at newly built branches opening soon in Springfield and Springboro.
Tellers will work at a centralized office at the credit union’s headquarters, allowing the credit union to have tellers working in multiple branches virtually at once, credit union officials have said.
Chase Bank said self-service kiosks are one of several new technologies being tested. More than 2,000 locations nationwide by year-end will have instant issue cards. The bank can reissue debit cards to customers in-person instead of sending them in the mail. Some locations are also pilot testing paperless branches, which use electronic signatures instead of paper slips.
All technology is developed in Columbus, Ohio, Chase’s largest operations outside of New York.
Chase has almost 300 branches and 900 ATMs in Ohio, including 22 Dayton market branches and 11 Cincinnati offices. Chase is Cincinnati’s sixth-largest bank by deposits, and Dayton’s second-largest, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. by the numbers
$21.3 billion Ohio deposits, making it Ohio’s 5th largest bank
292 branches and 900 ATMs in Ohio
400 self-service kiosks open nationwide, to double by end of 2013
SOURCES: Chase, FDIC