The Rise of the Machines: The Future of Banking

If you’ve been into a Commonwealth branch to do your banking lately, you may have seen their new ATM’s. These crafty new boxes are taking over from ‘real life’ tellers and allowing you to deposit, withdraw cash and cheques or even both at the same time.

While this all seems very clever, let us not forget what happened in The Terminator series. I’m not Sarah Connor or anything, but the future of machines looks to be on the up, while humans are being pushed aside.

While you wait patiently in line, choosing to opt for the human teller, the Commonwealth staff tend to shut their register and start pestering you in a very annoyingly friendly way to, “please use our new ATM’s.”

It seems Commonwealth staff are told to persuade customers to use the ATM’s over a traditional teller. One staff member, who shall not be named, agreed with a rather disgruntled customer, telling him that she too thought it was a horrible idea.

I spoke to an unhappy customer at the Commonwealth Bank, who told me about their thoughts on the new way of banking. “You can only put a limited amount in, so it’s not good for businesses who have a large cash float. A machine can’t work out if a cheque is ‘dodgy’ whereas the human tellers have good experience at this. You don’t want to wait 3 days before you realise your cheque won’t clear”.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Arnold did come good in a few of those movies, after all. Here’s what the Commonwealth Bank have to say about their ATM’s on their website:

The benefits of our cash & cheque in ATMs include:

  • Cash deposits are credited to your account instantly
  • Deposit up to 200 notes at a time without an envelope
  • Deposit up to 50 cheques without an envelope
  • Make deposits 24/7

They are different to the conventional deposit machines because they can accept larger amounts of cash. And If you want to deposit coins, you can go into a branch, use the coin counter and deposit the supplied receipt at the ATM.

It all seems very fancy and I should get on the growing technology bandwagon, or hovercraft as it probably is these days, but I can’t help but feel that most people just want to deal with real people, especially when it comes to their precious cash.

Don’t we have enough machines in our lives? From self-serve checkouts at the supermarkets to DVD vending machines, they seem to be everywhere. I miss having an actual human to whinge to when the service sucks, and a machine cannot smile or give you helpful info quite like a real person.

Will the rise of machines impact employment opportunities? That’s another scary thought. Will there come a point where there are more machine workers than human? What will the future of work look like for us meat-bags? Only time will tell.

Want a job that will take you 2036? Suss this.

If you ask me, it looks like it’s up to us, the customer and the consumer to make a stand against the rise of machines. Tell them you want to deal with and speak with a human, because it’s big corporations like the Commonwealth Bank who are using machines to cut the cost of employing staff.

Unless a machine is saying “come with me if you want to live,” I’d choose a human.

Feature image: Business Insider