Video Tellers Personalize ATMs

Video is a versatile tool that’s great for connecting with people on an emotional level. An emerging use of video is changing the way we bank. It’s a beautiful mix of human and machine. We’re talking about the personal automated teller (PAT). These teller/ATM hybrids are making a splash in the banking industry.

Futuristic Banking

Video Tellers Personalize ATMs
Virtual tellers combine the convenience of a machine with human interaction

PATs work like an ATM, but with live video chat capability. They feature a “there if you need me” approach with kiosks working like a traditional ATM until the customer summons a teller. It’s the Skype version of a banking interaction. These machines have nearly all the abilities of a teller in a bricks-and-mortar bank, combining personalized service and convenience.


Video Tellers Personalize ATMs
The ATM came to Canada in 1969

Before the PAT came the ATM.  The ATM precursor was a “Computer Loan Machine” used in Japan in 1966. Then came a cash machine used in London in 1967. The first modern ATM was an IBM model used in Essex, UK in December 1972. Automated teller machines first came to Canada courtesy of CIBC on December 1, 1969. In the early days, thirty dollars was the maximum withdrawal amount. Since then, many advancements were made prior to the Canadian introduction of the PAT  in 2010.


Video Tellers Personalize ATMs
Remote locations benefit from virtual tellers

A PAT is typically equipped with audio and video capability, cheque scanners and signature pads. This enables the machines to fulfill most banking transactions. That means remote locations not otherwise served by a branch can still access full services. PATs are usually placed in an area people are visitng to already, such as a grocery store. This further increases their convenience. The machines are also found at drive-ups as an alternative to a customer going into the bank.


The teller is obviously an important part of the PAT set-up. Video tellers are housed in a single space and can serve many different branches. They can be trained together, resulting in consistent service. Having tellers in one location, such as a call centre, also means better communication and support. Using video is effective for customer management because the tellers can show empathy in a way they can’t over the phone.

In the PAT interaction, the teller is remotely controlling the machine and its functions. Kind of like when an IT help desk takes over your computer. This type of service is faster than if you were doing the same thing in person at the bank. The efficiency is due to the automation aspect—the teller isn’t counting out cash or handling cheques.


Imagine this scenario: You lost your bank card, making a regular ATM useless. With a PAT, you can show the video teller your ID and they can release cash from the machine. A PAT also enables you to withdraw an amount over the standard ATM limit or conduct a series of transactions. However, most banks will still ask you to show up in person to open an account or apply for a loan.

Bank services have changed in recent years with a trend away from traditional banking in favour of digital banking. Some financial institutions are cutting costs by closing branches. Video tellers offer an alternative that still gives personalized service. Plus, many PATs offer exapanded hours for teller availability. One more advantage is that video tellers are much more difficult to rob.

What’s my Name Again?

Video teller technology is still evolving and remains somewhat of a novelty. In fact, the industry is still figuring out what to call these machines. Here’s a handy guide to some of the identities this service uses.

  • VTM—video teller machine
  • ITM—interactive teller machine
  • PAT—personal automated teller. This is a Canadian term.
  • AIT—automated interactive teller
  • PTM—personal teller machine

Bridging the Gap

If you’re looking for a way to communicate with your target market, Key West Video can help. Whether you need to promote a product, explain a service or otherwise reach out to your customer, video is a proven approach. Call us today for a free quote.