Saturday, February 20, 2010

New ATM not as good as old ATM

Chase recently "upgraded" all their ATMs to machines that OCR your checks and cash for deposits. You can insert a stack of up to 30 checks and it will scan and determine the deposit amount directly from the check... in theory. I had a few checks to deposit and the machine would only read two of them. I tried six times to no avail and there was not an option to enter the amount myself. If the machine can't read it, then it won't take the deposit. How convenient.

I guess with the old machines and deposit envelopes, banks need to hire someone to open up each envelope and manually process all the checks. This way, the data gets encoded during the initial transaction and banks can cut down on their labor. Of course, this only works as well as the technology. I haven't called their customer support line but my guess is that they will tell me to go to a branch during business hours, defeating the purpose for having ATMs in the first place. Sure, technology is great, but there has to be some kind of backup when tech fails. Maybe this is part of the trend to automate and lower costs for customer service, much like the lame automated answering systems that never seem to have the option you need. I just keep pressing "0" as soon as the computer answers to get a live CS rep.

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