Christine wrote about her bank’s ATMs now being envelope-free. In other words, you can deposit your check directly into a slot (cash too) without putting it in an envelope first and writing all over it. My credit union has had that feature at most of its ATMs now for a number of years. I can also choose whether to receive a paper receipt from the ATM.
Cutting down on paper, I don’t take request a receipt, and except for the times I actually need to get cash, I rarely go to the ATM any more as I do all of my banking online. Even when I do have a paper check, I can deposit it online by using an app on my iPhone. I no longer get bank statements in the mail, either, doing all of that online. And, of course, I don’t think anyone gets cancelled checks (if they even use checks) any more.
I do go into the credit union’s physical branch when I need small denominations or a roll of quarters which I use for buying the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle. I usually joke with the teller that if they could just make it possible for my iPhone to dispense the rolls of quarters, I wouldn’t need to come into the credit union.
Someone mentioned on Christine’s post, and I’m sure this is true, that this online banking and ATM use has cost jobs in banking. However, any time I step into one of the many branches of my credit union, there is a line of customers waiting. Also, there are now new jobs in banking that didn’t exist before. Someone has to manage all of the ATMs. There are also many people who work in call centers for the these institutions, answering questions both by phone and online. A former student has one of those jobs. Another student is branch manager of a mainline bank having started there as a teller while still in high school. I do wonder what banking will look like in another 10 years and what the jobs will be like.