Bank of America is rolling out 22 Web-enabled ATMs in a bid to test customer reaction to the use of Internet technology on the high street. Customers will be able to use the machines to view copies of cancelled cheques, buy or trade stocks or even transfer messages to and from the bank.
BofA customers will initially be invited to customise their ATM by indicating the language they wish to use, whether or not they want receipts and how much money they want to withdraw using a "fast cash" option. These settings will be implemented by the customer and will result in faster and more efficient visits to the cash machine, says the bank.
Barbara Desoer, principal marketing executive for Bank of America, says the new machines form part of an overall strategy to deliver all banking services using Internet technology.
The first group of the Web-enabled ATMs will be placed in 12 locations in Charlotte and 10 in Atlanta through the rest of this year. Customer feedback will determine functionality for a wider roll-out of Web-enabled ATMs, expected in 2001.
"We will offer customers the options they tell us they want at an ATM," says Desoer. "We will ensure that they will have access to the features and functionality to best meet their needs, while also remaining fast and convenient."
In the future, says Desoer, customers may be able to view images of cheques, send to and receive messages from the bank, monitor their investments or even buy goods and services at the ATM. They may be able to learn when investments are about to mature, order cheques or even get a weather update.
The ATMs can be reprogrammed from a centralised delivery point as functions are added or deleted, cutting down the time and effort needed to change ATM screens nationwide. The technology can be used to provide full-motion color video with sound during transaction sequences, high-quality colour photos and touch-screen capabilities.
Bank of America has the largest ATM network in the United States, with more than 14,000 machines located in 22 states and the District of Columbia.