Bank of America latest business to turn to technology rather than in-person service

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Bank of America is dipping into the new technology wave, offering a new teller-less service downtown.

Andy Crask showed CBS4 the new machines that allow customers to walk in and do what they describe as quicker and more efficient banking. Different than an ATM, customers will scan their debit card and then dial a customer service representative often based in another state. Clients will communicate with that person via a camera and screen, similar to Skype.

“It was kind of different, but fast,” customer Nicole Wallace said about the experience. “It beats standing around in line. She was still personable even though she was in Florida and I am in Indianapolis.”

While the downtown location is the first of its kind in Indianapolis, Crask said Bank of America plans to implement the technology nationwide.

“We think this a unique experience,” he said. “Look for more at 6th and 69, College and Mass Avenue, Campus Parkway and Brook School Road.”

He also confirmed several other locations in surrounding suburbs.

Bank of America adds to a long list of companies turning to technology. Kroger recently introduced a new self-checkout system for grocery shopping. Restaurants nationwide tout self-service ordering kiosks, new vending machine options and driverless delivery.

“Generally, consumers like it,” said Kyle Anderson, an economist with the Kelley School of Business.

Anderson said more and more businesses are working to cater to customers’ desires.

“People want to order on an app rather than having that conversation,” he said. “I go into Panera now and I walk up to the counter, order myself, grab my stuff and go. I prefer it. It’s convenient and fast.”

Many have questioned whether the new approach will affect the workforce and eliminate jobs.

“I think the jobs will switch. There is going to be a transition. If you go to Kroger now, there aren’t as many people checking out but now if you want someone to pick up your groceries and bring them out to your car, you can. There will be a transition that goes on there,” he explained.

Others have questioned whether switching to such systems will take away from our person-to-person interaction.

“There will be a bit of a different dynamic, but again a lot of consumers prefer that,” Anderson answered. “Maybe it’s a little anti-social but overall it works. I certainly think it has the potential to drive down cost and retail is extremely competitive.”