My First Experience With the New Bank of America ATMs

About ten months ago I wrote about Bank of America making improvements to their ATM deposit procedure by implementing a system that allows for the scanning of cash and checks as they are inserted into the machine. Well, at long last it’s finally available in our area and last night I had an opportunity to test it out. From a technological standpoint, it’s pretty cool…

In the case of machine printed checks, the system automatically determines how much the check is for, and then presents you with an on-screen image and asks for confirmation of the amount. The machine got it right in all cases, although I had to re-insert one check a few times before it would read it. In the case of hand written checks, it asks you to enter the amount and then shows a picture of the check and asks for confirmation that the amount you entered is correct.

One really nice thing about this system is that they print a receipt with small images of the scanned checks. This is incredibly helpful for people like me who make deposits and then forget what proportion of the grand total came from where… I keep track of all this stuff in Quicken, so this saves me from having to write myself notes as to how the deposit broke down. And before you start worrying about security, the images have the routing and account numbers blacked out across the bottom.

The downside? It’s S-L-O-W.
I had five checks to deposit into two separate accounts and, while I would’ve been in and out of there really quickly with the old style ATM, it took me a good long while to get through my transactions. So long, in fact, that the friendly lady sitting in the Humvee behind me rolled down her window and yelled up to me to find out if the machine was broken. Lady, if the machine was broken, do you really think that I’d sit in front of it punching buttons and inserting slips of paper for five minutes?

I can’t speak for cash transactions, but I’d think they’re be just as slow, especially if you have a lot of small bills. The good news here is that these machines should make things much more convenient and efficient for Bank of America, and that’s what really counts, isn’t it? 😉

62 Responses to “My First Experience With the New Bank of America ATMs”

  1. Anonymous

    I walked into bank of America the other day and felt almost an intrusion of my privacy when the nosy bank lady came right over and said “what brings you into the bank today?!” in her most corny customer service sounding voice. I told her I am making a deposit. She must have been able to tell my irritation with her question because she then said, “I only ask because we are showing people our new ATM’S”. I was a little less irritated once I knew she had a purpose and they had something new. I’m like a kid that way. So I went out there and she showed me the new ATM and the way it scans the check, no need for an envelope, and it even prints out a copy of the check on the receipt. Pretty neat. The next week I was dropping by before work to make a cash deposit, and the experience wasn’t quite as convenient. It took me 35 minutes to deposit 140.00. It spit my bills out at least 5 times, saying it could not accept them. Something like a vending machine. I wrestled with it to then get my bills back out as the trap door kept shutting. At the same time, it’s asking do you need more time for this transaction? Obviously I need more time, as you’re not working! So finally it accepts my bills and the options are “add cash”, which I’m thinking means “add this cash to acct”… so of course I say yes, it opens and expects more cash, in which I hit cancel, so once again- it spits the original bills back out. And I’m back at square one with trying to get it to accept the original bills! It was a total disaster. The moral of the story is big deal that we can do it without an envelope, at least back then it took one quick transaction and there were no problems with the bills. I’m highly irritated they probably spent millions of dollars on something that worked completely fine already. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if they are so high-tech, maybe they should start having the ability to write tardy notes for your boss when you’re late because it took an hour to make a deposit!
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  2. Anonymous

    I was a fan for the first two weeks of my new job. The machine accepted my check with no problem each week. This week was a different story. Clean, brand new paycheck, only one fold down the center but not crumpled, no dirt or smudges…very clean check. Neither the drive-up nor the walk-up ATM would read the check. It kept spitting it back with some type of error message about not having received an acceptable check.

    This is nonsense. If they can’t accept good clean checks, how can these machines accept any handwritten check or check with a small blemish or a few folds? I suspect the scanners are dirty or maybe it’s a software problem, but in any case, this system was NOT properly tested and should not have been rolled out. At the very least, it should simply accept the check, allow the user to enter the amount on the keypad, spit out a receipt and note that the deposit is pending verification.

    Instead, it just spits it back out. What a bloody crock.

    I called BOA’s customer service, and was told that the ATM department would look into these ATMs. I’m glad I found this blog post — misery does love company so it was interesting to read the many responses from others who find these ATMs completely unacceptable. I intend to find time to send some snail mail to the executive suite. Maybe it will at least rattle some cages of the dumbass VP who okayed this premature rollout.

  3. Anonymous

    One thing important to this discussion that hasn’t seemed to be mentioned yet, Is that because of these new ATM’s Bank Of America has decided to start implementing a “paper saving” policy, or what I like to call “we want to lay off as many tellers as possible and have the customers do the work” policy.

    What they have done in Washington state is to remove all paper transaction slips from inside the bank, in an attempt to have customers use the new ATM’s. If you ask for a deposit slip they will take you outside and show you the machine. Not very convenient if you want your funds available immediately. If you insist on having your funds available immediately they will finally give you one.

    I have spoken with the corporate office and they have confirmed that this is the direction in which Bank of America is heading.

    Seems like quite a harsh message to customers

  4. Anonymous

    Bank of America’s new deposit idea with their ATM’s is a disaster! This evening, I had to make a deposit of 350.00 in ca$h. I went to my branch which has 3 outdoor machines. 2 Drive ins and one walk-up. I inserted my card and punched in my PIN. I pushed the “deposit” button, and it asked CASH or Check. I punched CASH.I inserted the cash (3 – $100 bills and one 50.00 bill) in the proper direction and the door closed. It accepted only ONE of the 100.00 bills and flipped the other bills upside down unaccepted. I re-inserted them several times to no avail. I went to the other drive up machine, and after several tries, got it to accept the 50.00 bill. Then, I went to the walk-up machine, (Which I don’t like to do for fear of being robbed) and tried to get it to accept the 2 100.00 bills. After several unsuccessful tries I gave up.
    I went to a lounge in the neighborhood and had a couple drinks, changed the 2 hundreds for new ones and went back to my bank at Flamingo and Sandhill.
    Neither drive up ATM was accepting cash…..Only checks. I went to the ATM on the side of the building..It was accepting cash but not checks. It would NOT accept my ‘new’ bills either.
    I drove to the only other ATM’s in the neighborhood at Harmon and Boulder Highway and tried both machines there. Neither would take my money. I wasted over an hour of my time and a couple gallons of gas trying to perform a 45 second task. there is NO OPTION to do it the “Old” way using an envelope and a deposit slip.
    This system SUCKS Big Time. Diebold equipment sucks! This system was NOT properly tested, and, a lot of people will be very upset with the wasted time and total inconvenience of this new system.
    I will be willing to bet that BofA will be soon charging customers to use tellers in the very near future. I also see the day when there will be no tellers. So much for stimulus funds putting people to work and preserving the economy and the people of this country.

  5. Anonymous

    Just had the misfortune of using the “new and Improved” BOA ATM. Today was the forth time of failures to read checks for deposits at two separate branches.
    The one time it did work took close to five minutes start to finish to deposit 2 personal checks with no cash back.
    Whoever the knucklehead was that bought these monsters should be fired.
    Looking for new bank that didn’t take TARP funds.


  6. Anonymous

    On 2 separate occasions in the last 2 months this damn new ATM Machine ate my check. Guess what folks. You have to file a claim and it takes 45 days to investigate. Just happened to me again today and I dont get a temporary credit until Tuesday. The new machine also failed to return my ATM card. I had to go in the bank and insist they shut it down and get my card out.

  7. Anonymous

    I ran into these first at Wells Fargo a couple years ago, then awhile after at a BofA. The first ones at Wells Fargo you could insert multiple checks at once, while the first I ran into at BofA only took one check at a time. I just ran into one at a BofA branch today that takes 10 at a time. I sometimes have to deposit as many as 60 checks at a time, and it’s a pain in the arse even 10 at a time (you can imagine doing this 1 at a time, it takes at least 1/2 hour probably longer); for awhile the drive up ATM at a branch a couple miles away retained the traditional ATM and I could just shove in the envelope, but that’s gone as of sometime in the past week. They removed the drive up ATM entirely at the branch nearest me a couple years ago. Aside from the extra time, it’s also annoying to me that of the at least two models of ATM I’ve run into at BofA with this “feature”, neither recognizes USPS Money Orders, it spits them back out.

  8. Anonymous

    These new ATM’s are terrible! Will not accept many rebate checks. I actually have a job, so I can’t go to the bank when it is open. I love standing in the city in front of an atm for extended period of time. Shame on Bank of America for making their problems our problems!

  9. Anonymous

    NEVER DEPOSIT CASH INTO THESE ATMs. They will count your money correctly, spit a bill back and when you try to reinsert it and it spits the same bill back again they come up with a screen that prompts you to key in the amount of cash you deposited AFTER the ATMs has already counted the money. Then they give you a recite with a 300.00 deposit total when the amount the ATM counted was 1200.00 more (in my case). So in short I trusted these new ATM and have been going to B of A for 18 years with no problems and now I want to switch banks. Not to mention that the customer service reps want you to wait and see if the issues sorts itself out and wait to see if the full amount posts to your account, when it doesn’t you get to file a claim and give you a temp credit for the missing amount then you get to wait and see if the bank deiced to allow you to keep the money you deposited and their ATM counted with out adding it to you account.

  10. Anonymous

    The new ATMs are great! I found it MUCH more convenient to go inside and wait in line for 20 minutes to deposit a money order into my checking account than to do it in 20 seconds at the old ATMs. Thanks, B of A!!

  11. Anonymous

    chances are the check is just so jammed into one of the crevices of the machine, and the employees aren’t familiar enough with the new machines to know how to take it apart to find it. you can’t escape the technology… all banks will conform eventually. but the new atms are a major change and it will take time for the employees to learn them and the techs to work the bugs out of the system. hope your troubles are over soon!

  12. Anonymous

    And its not a matter of MUCH longer transactions – it is ATM’s malfunctions. That’s the only reason I’m going to another bank this week.Here’s the story:
    They’ve changed all “old” ATM’s to new ones like 2 weeks ago in my area.First time deposit was all good and it was nice to have copys of all checks deposited on your receipt. But week ago I was making a deposit with 8-9 checks for the total amount of about $600.Everything was going smoothly (checks were inserted correctly and all) till half way trough ATM spitted out last 3 checks and said it cannot process transaction and if I wish to proceed with my deposit. I clicked YES, put last 3 checks again and waited for my card and receipt…
    And then – on receipt I saw I had only last 3 checks and nothing more – like previous checks weren’t even there!
    I went to the bank and manager told me that everything will be ok, because my account # is printed on the back, or something like that, and they’ll find missing checks.
    So its well more than a week since then, more than 4 half an hour phone calls with BofA Customer Service, and they’re saying that they cannot find it! They need a copys of those checks, so they know what to look for – I said that I don’t copy (never did before either) checks before I put them in YOUR ATM!I just know the total amount.
    So I heard it’s next to impossible to find it,and I SHOULD make copys – WHAT!!!?
    What if you’re a handy man, carpet cleaner or somebody else who is paid from whole bunch of different people, and you simply don’t know whose checks were in which envelope? – in this case NO ENVELOPE!
    Before, they were all together if you made a mistake they credited/debited your account. Now they just tell you THEY CANNOT FIND IT!
    …and there it goes my $400!
    So I’m switching the bank, because I don’t trust BofA anymore.
    And for all of you using BofA – copy your deposits before you make them.

    btw. What if I was doing a cash deposit and same thing happened?

    Bank Of America – You SUCK!

  13. Anonymous

    Wells Fargo has had this same technology for well over a year now. The ATMs are MUCH slower than before, there’s no arguing that. But the greatest benefit is the extended cutoff times. Before you had to have your deposit in by 1pm at most B of A ATMs, or 4pm in the branch. Now you can deposit up to 8pm and still receive credit that night, or immediately if it’s cash. Wonder why they are so far behind WF? There are great benefits on the working side as well. Having been a previous employee of WF, we would be SLAMMED at 4pm with everyone trying to make cutoff, and at the same time 2 employees had to leave the teller line to go process the ATMs for their cutoff time as well. So now there are more people on the teller line at the busiest time of day, and less people rushing to make the 4pm cutoff since they have till 8pm at the machine. The machines do jam very badly very easily. So be careful with crumply checks. You may find yourself in the middle of a lost check claim and not receive your money for a few days.

  14. Anonymous

    Wells Fargo has had this same technology for well over a year now. They are MUCH slower than before, there’s no arguing that. But the greatest benefit is the extended cutoff times. Before you had to have your deposit in by 1pm at most B of A ATMs, or 4pm in the branch. Now you can deposit up to 8pm and still receive credit that night, or immediately if it’s cash. Wonder why they are so far behind WF?

  15. Anonymous

    Actually some of the machines that take up to 10 checks will kick out all or MOST of the checks. I had two check eaten by the machine tonight and the best I could get from the bank was that they only open the machines once a week and I’ll have to wait.

    These new machines are a joke if you have more than 3 or 4 checks to deposit.

  16. Anonymous


  17. Anonymous

    I think the new machines are excellent. I never really used the envelope method of depositing but ever since I switched over to BoA(and I switched over because of these ATMs haha), it so much more convenient. I can drive up to the ATM 3 in the morning and just put the check in without filling out any slips. AND IT HAS ALWAYS worked, not once did it not recognize the amount of the check.

  18. Anonymous

    I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed in B of A with the one-check-at-a-time deal. I live on the west coast and basically have Wells Fargo or B of A. Wells implemented similar ATMs, but they take up to 30 checks at a time. I’ve been using them for a while and have never had an issue. I can’t even imagine needing to deposit a handful of checks one at a time B of A-style.

    B of A should step up and improve the ATMs to handle stacks of checks. Not to mention, Wells Fargo’s ATMs also have by far the best interface I have ever seen (the updated one).

    I’ll be moving to the east coast in less than a year, and I’ll miss the ATMs here. Maybe Citibank will add their own version by then…

  19. Anonymous

    For everyone saying how easy and convenient it is…

    Perhaps you are saving 10 seconds by not having to put the check in an envelope, but it takes me 20 minutes to put in several checks and hold everyone else up.

    The idea is horrible and it will backfire.

  20. Anonymous

    These ATMs are AWFUL. I have lost cash in them on 2 seperate occasions. Despite trying to make my deposits as flat and wrinkle free as possible, the stupid ATMs never accept my cash correctly. B of A customer service is totally unconcerned. I switched to WAMU after the second incident. STAY AWAY. You’ll lose money.

  21. Anonymous

    Dear Annoyed in SF

    I had a similiar issue except the fact that I got so frustrated with the thing not taking my check that when it tried to spit it back out to me — I REFUSED TO TAKE IT! After a few times of it pushing it out and back in, the machine finally took it for good. However, I got no receipt or credit to my account. I called BOA at 800-432-1000 and hit 0 and told them what happened. They said they were going to credit my account and send paperwork for me to fill out so they could investigate. Now this check was only $30 so I don’t know if a bigger check would make a difference or not….but you should try to call them if you haven’t already.

    By the way, I printed and posted a petition next to the ATM to replace it with the old style… and in a month’s time, it has already filled up and gotten 40 signatures….I need to print off “page 2”. 🙂

  22. Anonymous

    I thought the new ATMs were pretty slick when we got them in our neighborhood a few months ago. And they were. Right up until the ATM sucked in the second of 2 checks I was depositing, said it had an error, didn’t return the check or the scanned image and BofA has decided that they can’t help me unless I provide a photocopy of the check. Now, I am not going to photocopy my checks before depositing them. They can’t explain their check reconciliation process to me, despite the fact that we have the date and time and ATM# (because I successfully deposited one right before that). Question: how many unreconciled checks per day per ATM does BofA have? If it is a small number, why can’t they find my check? If a large number, scary–don’t do business with them. Handling deposits is basic blocking and tackling–if BofA can’t do this right, why would I trust them with anything else? As soon as I get this issue cleared up and the money credited, we are so switiching to another bank (and we have been really easy customers).

  23. Anonymous

    I’ve had the same problem as most of the people above: It won’t take some checks and bills. It is also a LOT slower process.

    It seems that this would cause MORE people to use the tellers because the ATM won’t take their deposits, thus using up more BOA employee’s time. This is the reverse effect of what they are trying to do — save employee time.

    The best solution would be to allow the customer the option to use the “old way” and deposit an envelope, but still have the new way available. At least, that is what’s best for the customer.

    This is really starting to annoy me, and I never thought I’d come close to switching banks, but I’m considering it now.

    Oh, by the way, there isn’t a BOA branch within 5 miles of the ATM….so it’s not convenient to visit the branch to use a night depository.

  24. Anonymous

    I’ve just spent a grueling 40 minutes trying to use the “improved” ATMs at my local BofA. These machines are utterly useless for business customers. As others have mentioned, the process of scanning individual checks is slow and cumbersome. I typically have upwards of 45 checks to deposit. I’m supposed to stand there for an hour doing what used to take 30 seconds?? This is yet another move by BofA to cut costs for themselves and then market it as a “new” service upgrade for their customers. I’m sure if I now take my deposits in to the tellers (asssuming they have any on duty) I will soon be charged for the privilege of doing so. It used to be I stuck with BofA because they were so convenient. I don’t think that will be the case much longer.

  25. Anonymous

    I just ran into one of these new BofA ATM’s today. There were three annoying things for me:

    1. The ATM seems much slower to do *anything*.

    2. It beeps are quite loud, basically broadcasting the number of digits in my pin.

    3. I deposited a paycheck. The scanning worked after a second try and the ATM did read the check amount and check number correctly. Unfortunately, the little printout has *both my company’s name and my home address* clearly legible!! I keep my transaction slips, but so many people just toss them on the ground. What a great new way to get people’s personal information.

  26. Anonymous

    The new machines suck. I “trusted” the machine and attempted to deposit about $250 cash. I didnt count the cash completely. The machine “jams” and tells me that it cannot read my cash and that is also CAN NOT return the unread bills. I then have to type in the amount. I call the numbers to the bank on my receipt to talk to customer service. All I got was the run around. BOA and DIEBOLD sux! Give me an envelope any day.

  27. Nana: Jared is correct about the banks relying on magnetic ink, although in this case they have to be doing at least *some* optical character recognition — after all, the ATM can (in most cases) read hand-written amounts which certainly aren’t in magnetic ink.

    Also, keep in mind that that they’re not trying to save *you* time and money. They’re trying to save themselves time and money. It’s great if you benefit, but that’s not the driving force here.

  28. Anonymous

    Nana the problem you are having with the home printed checks is that you are not using MICR ink. Banks use magnetic ink character recognition, which is why they can scan their checks in a machine to read the numbers off the bottom of the check to get routing number, account number and check number and in some cases the check amount. Companies that print their own checks for payroll buy MICR ink so their checks read. Occasionally companies will go the cheap route and not use that ink which slows up the whole process, including the employee getting their funds into their account when the check won’t read properly. Printing checks at home is great if people use the proper ink. If you read the information about the check kits when you purchse them, it mentions using the proper ink.

  29. Anonymous

    I don’t really see the convenience for me because I usually have hand written checks and thus far they have not been able to read them. The nice lady trying to assist customers with the new machines asked me if the checks were printed on a personal computer. Well, when I receive checks from a customer, I never think to ask them where there checks were printed. One of the checks that wouldn’t print was a check from my husband’s account. This check we did print on our computer. It seems the new ATM’s will not read them at all. I had to go inside several times to deposit my checks and wait in a very long line of customers who were having a problem making a deposit through the ATM. I have been printing our checks for over four years, never had a problem with them being scanned by the bank to take the money from our accounts. There were long lines at the ATM for people trying to make deposits, and another long line inside if the ATM wouldn’t take their deposit. How exactly is this saving me time or money? Some of the checks people were having problems depositing were printed by outside vendors like Checks In The Mail. Does this mean we can’t order our personal checks from anyone other than the bank? Many small companies print their own payroll checks as well as their payable checks. Does this mean this is no long an option for us? How again is this saving me time or money?

  30. Anonymous

    Hello. I love the new ATM’s for my personal account but as a business owner who does all of her banking via ATM this is very inconvenient. We deposit a lot of cash from our restaurant and it is an extremely slow process not to mention dangerous to be standing there inserting check after check and all the cash. B of A encouraged us to use the ATM machine instead of a teller with low fee incentives and now I find that I’m going to have to go inside and use the teller from now on to make our business deposits.

  31. Anonymous

    You are getting credit faster though for those deposits Consuela. Also, you could still put those in an envelope with a deposit slip and drop all of it into the night drop for quick safe convenience as a small business customer. That would get processed by a teller the next business morning when the night drop safe is opened.

  32. Anonymous

    I have used the new ATM’s but as a small business owner, it is really inconvenient. As a small business, I have to deposit several checks. With the old machine, I could put them in an envelope and it took 2 minutes. Now, I can’t even use the ATM to deposit checks because it’s not safe to stand there scanning check after check. The first time I tried it, it took me over 45 minutes and I keep getting out of line to let other people go and then get back in line. Now, I am forced to leave work early to go into the bank to make a deposit. Yes, it works great for individuals with one or 2 checks, but not good for multiple checks. There should be an option to use an envelope for multiple checks. Some checks would not even scan. Good for Bank of American but inconvenient to the customer.

  33. Anonymous

    As an employee of Bank of America and one that is getting that new Image ATM at our location this week, there are a number of other benefits that the consumer probably does not know about. Since the ATM scans the image, that image is sent electronically to a processing center and that check is transmitted to the financial institution for collection via the routing number and account number. By doing this, that check is already being processed for collection from the payee that gave you the check shortly after you scanned it into the machine therefore reducing the chances your funds are held and reducing the time until that check comes back clear and paid. Also by doing it this way and scanning the checks, you can deposit later, most locations until 8pm local time and still get credit to your account that business day. For cash it immediately credits your account which is the biggest bonus for most ATM deposit users. By having the ATM scan in the bills and verify the cash funds, immediate credit can be given, with the old envelope method there was no way of knowing what is in the envelope and if the amounts are correct.

  34. J.F.K.: Interesting. I’ve never had a check scanned and handed back to me by a merchant. The closest experience to this that I’ve had is that at various stores (like Wal-Mart) they used to (and probably still do) offer to machine print the details on your checks by feeding it through the cash register. Unfortunately, that seemed to take longer than just writing everything but the amount while they were ringing things up.

  35. Anonymous

    I know that the scanning has to have SOME optical component. When I have deposited hand-written checks, it has reco’d the check and shown me the amount of the check for confirmation (without errors so far, astonishingly).

    I, too, am a Quicken user and am thrilled at the check image that appears right on the receipt. I used to have to remember to photocopy all my checks before depositing before I went to the bank (so I could properly categorize the entry).

    I discovered the failure of the OCR software to handle U.S. Postal Money Orders (which is what brought me here). I rather expect that the software folks just hadn’t anticipated the interesting print format used by the postal money order printer (which, I’m guessing, they do to prevent “forging-up” a $10 check to a $100 check).

    I photocopied my money orders and gave them to the branch manager who understood the issue and assured me she’d get the problem in front of the ATM software folks. We’ll see.

    As a USAA customer, I was very intrigued to read about Deposit@Home. I’m going to investigate at the first opportunity.

    Maybe checks are going away as paper artifacts? My wife told me a story about renewing her GA driver’s license. She was writing out the check and asked “to whom?” and the cashier said, “don’t bother”. Wife: “huh?”. Clerk: “Just wait, you’ll see”. The clerk scanned the check, wrote “void” on it and handed it back to my wife!!

    Shape of things to come!

  36. Anonymous

    I have to agree with Nickel on the comments – these new machines are NOT better than the old way. Now, I may just have a division of BofA around my area that can’t maintain the machines or the check scanners properly, but I have crappy luck getting checks to scan AT ALL. Just this weekend, as a matter of fact, early Saturday morning, I went to FOUR different BofA machines with a machine printed State of Oregon (actually OSU) check and none of the machines would read it … at all. It’s still in my wallet now because now I need to make time to get to a bank branch during the day to go in and make a teller deposit.

    If this most recent incident had been isolated, I would have chalked it up to a badly printed check – but my experience in the lasst couple of months has been that these machines just plain don’t work. Out of perhaps 10 checks I’ve deposited since spring, the machines have read maybe 3 of them correctly and fully – and I agree, when it works, it’s very cool. But overall, when I have to spend 5 or 10 minutes fighting with the machine just to deposit a few checks and well more than half of them have to be taken in the bank anyway, what’s the point of even HAVING the scanners in the machines to begin with? The thing that rankles me is that there isn’t even the OPTION of being able to use an envelope – I mean when the machine can’t read three or four seperate MACHINE PRINTED checks (I’ve never even attempted to deposit a hand-written one, god forbid!) in a row, then it should be smart enough to allow you to use an envelope for the deposit instead of telling you, in effect, “sorry, you’ll have to screw up your day and find time to come inside a bank branch during bankers hours to make your deposit … hope you’ve got enough money to make it through your day.”

    Not all new technology is good technology.

  37. Anonymous

    We have to pull checks seperately from cash. Checks are bundled but cash is loose in a bin.
    Cris: The settlement tickets “receipts” take a while to print and the machine has to reset itself when done. Time consuming process. Captured cards have to be removed and processed as well.
    Old way open her up get, envelopes, print ticket and get cards and close and leave. There are going to be some changes to the machines in the near future to speed this process along. In the meantime just go to the drive thru or go in the bank to do your business. ED

  38. Anonymous

    Chris, do you work for Bank of America or something? Own their stock? You seem to be taking any criticisms of BoA very personally.

    For the record, I don’t live in BFE, unless you consider Chicago suburbs to be BFE.

  39. Nickel

    Chris: Wow, you say this:

    “Agreed… And yet… You’re continuing?”

    And then you come back yet another time to dish out insults. Quit being an ass.

    Eddie: I’m curious as to why it’s so much slower to pull the deposits from the new ATMs.

  40. Anonymous

    Sounds like you and everyone else living in BFE needs to switch to USAA because Bank of America ATMs are a dime a dozen where I am. I should have realized that when you said you JUST NOW got the “new” ATMs in your area.

  41. Anonymous

    The real issue in my mind, from a customer perspective, is convenience and (my!) cost (both $ and time).

    I don’t want to go to a bank branch. Ever. ATMs were supposed to make that less necessary by scattering them all over the place. Good move. But then banks started charging huge (in percentage terms) fees for using them if they’re not from “your” bank. I absolutely hate paying $2 to withdraw $50 of my own money. ATM technology *saves* the bank money because they need less branches and employees, but they’ve turned it into a cash cow, reducing my convenience and increasing my cost–either I’m driving out of my way to find my bank’s ATM, doing without whatever I wanted to buy, or I’m forking over the fee, probably withdrawing more than I need to make the fee more palatable and less frequent.

    The USAA program solves both of these problems in better ways. I can use *any* ATM, and they’ll reimburse up to $15/month of the stupid ATM fees, which is plenty to cover my ATM usage. Even without “[email protected]”, I prefer the prepaid envelopes–I’ll willingly trade a couple of days of funds availability for the ability to treat my banking deposits like Netflix–stick them in the mailbox and I’m done. Once I get “[email protected]” working, the mail delay goes away.

    I save time and money, and so does the bank. Win win. It’s a big enough benefit to me that I’m closing my Citibank accounts, even though I’ve generally liked Citibank over the 10+ years I’ve been a customer. One of the reasons I liked Citibank was the had a top-notch free online bill payment system where I could pay anyone, so I could stop writing checks (again saving me time and money), but now USAA and most other banks have that too.

  42. Anonymous

    > Anyway, this is just getting stupid now, as we’re both totally nit-picking.

    Agreed… And yet… You’re continuing?

    > It’s about three times the size as the old way, which cuts into the difference in paper usage

    Only when you deposit 5 checks! The average deposit sized receipt is roughly the same as before.

    > I was just reporting on both the good (kinda cool, nice to have a printed record of checks) and the bad (not terribly efficient on the customer side of things).

    And I was just reporting that having money counted for you, having your check amounts detected for you, not having to use an envelope, having cash availiable immediately, and having check images printed on your receipt couldn’t possibly get any more efficient “on the customer side of things”. What do you want? Them to come out and put your checks in the little hole for you?

  43. Nickel

    Branch was closed, and yes, there is a difference with the receipt. It’s about three times the size as the old way, which cuts into the difference in paper usage (still more with an envelope, but the difference is reduced).

    Anyway, this is just getting stupid now, as we’re both totally nit-picking. As I said in comment 11, I’m actually fine with the new technology. I was just reporting on both the good (kinda cool, nice to have a printed record of checks) and the bad (not terribly efficient on the customer side of things).

  44. Anonymous

    > Chris, with the old style machines I would have been in and out of there in about a minute. Instead, it took 5-6 minutes. So that Hummer (which pulled in right after me) idled for an extra five or so minutes.

    If you’re concerned about your and his gas usage, then go inside the branch to make your deposits.

    > (Uh oh, that receipt now takes substantially more paper than it used to, which reduces the paper savings of going envelope free!)

    You would get a receipt with or without using an envelope (Uh oh! Double the paper with old ATMs). Plus receipts are optional. You have the ability to NOT get a receipt.

  45. Nickel

    Chris, with the old style machines I would have been in and out of there in about a minute. Instead, it took 5-6 minutes. So that Hummer (which pulled in right after me) idled for an extra five or so minutes. Sure, you can argue that it’s ‘just’ a few minutes of extra idle time, but someone else could argue equally well that it’s ‘just’ one envelope. But we’re getting way off topic.

    The bottom line here is that I actually kinda like the new technology, especially with regard to getting a printed receipt with check images on it. (Uh oh, that receipt now takes substantially more paper than it used to, which reduces the paper savings of going envelope free!) I was just pointing out the downside, which is a less efficient interaction with the machine.

    What I’d *really* like would to be able to take advantage of that [email protected] feature that USAA offers, as our nearest bank branch is roughly 10 miles from our house.

  46. Anonymous

    At an old ATM, that Hummer would have been idling there anyways… AND using an envelope. And maybe that Hummer didn’t have 5 check deposits to make? Two minutes of idling in front of an ATM? or reducing the amount of trees we cut down? However you want to see it, the new ATM’s are a step in the right direction.

  47. Anonymous

    I pull deposits, cash and checks from these machines. The old ATM’s were over their expected life span and had to be replaced anyway. Why not do it with new tech. Soon all large banks will be using this tech. Its called “internet” ATM’s. It used to take me 5 minutes to “pull” deposits from the old machines but now 15 or 20 minutes. Not a lot of fun in the rain. At least I don’t have to replinish the envelope supply.

  48. Nickel

    Chris, you make some good points.

    As for hand-written checks, I deposited two and the system didn’t even seem to try and interpret them. It went straight to the screen asking me to enter the amount. In contrast, when it had difficulty with a machine-printed check, it kept asking me to re-insert it.

    The cash deposits being available immediately is a pretty cool feature, as is the ability to insert a stack of bills.

    As for ‘normal’ people not having multiple checks to deposit, I seriously doubt that’s the case. At least not for 95% of the people, as you claim.

    Another minor note… ATM deposits don’t require a deposit slip, though you’re right on the envelope. However, if you really want to argue environmental benefits, then you also need to consider the extra time spent idling in front of a drive-up ATM — there’s no way that my lack of an envelope made up for the extra gas that was burned by that Hummer sitting in line behind me a few extra minutes behind me.

  49. Anonymous

    Couple things I would like to point out/correct from your post.

    The system will automatically determine how much the check for regardless of whether it is a printed check or not. Personal, hand written, checks are also automatically detected provided the text on the check is not chicken scratch.

    One upside that you forgot (or maybe didn’t realize) is that cash deposits made at the new ATM’s are available immediately, as opposed to before when you deposited cash with an envelope and it wasn’t available until the next day and/or only partially available (awaiting something to verify the deposit).

    I believe, you, having to deposit five checks are the minority of all people making deposits using the new ATM’s. 95% of people that are making normal deposits should find the new ATM’s to be much faster and more convienient.

    The cash transactions are in no way as slow as check transactions. You can insert up to 40 bills at a time and it will automatically sort/count it, then display it on the screen broken down by bill amount ($20×2, $10×5, etc).

    Last thing you forgot to mention; you say it is more convienient/efficient for Bank of America… how about you? You no longer have to use a deposit slip or envelope. This saves you time and the environment at the same time. I believe the environmental savings are worth it to wait an extra 2 minutes while you insert another check.

  50. Anonymous

    I, too, have used the [email protected] from USAA (like Mike above)… I just wanted to let you know that it works like a charm for me. (I have a Canon Lide scanner, if that helps.) We had issues doing it through the Firefox browser, but IE worked fine. (USAA says it’s a known bug.)

    It’s nice to get to hang onto your check and have a scanned copy online.

    Pretty awesome to deposit a check into our accounts from our office or living room or bed or toilet.

    OK, i haven’t done the last one!

  51. Anonymous

    The only reason that they would install a new ATM fleet, which is a huge investment, is ROI. They are looking to save money on customer service (not that there is anything wrong with that). Do not delude yourself for a minute, the level of customer service you are getting is very low on the totem pole. What counts to the bank is the amount of money that giving you that service costs them.

    From any business’ point of view, it makes the most sense to give you the lowest possible level of customer service, while still keeping you as a satisfied customer.

  52. Anonymous

    I really like the idea of the printed check image, since I do the same thing – deposit several checks and way too often forget how much each one was for and what it was from.

    But I can see how that process would take forever. It’s part of the whole “do it yourself” culture that companies have been promoting the last few years. Self serve checkout in grocery stores and Home Depot. I went to a fast food place and they had kiosks to order your food. Cool eye candy, but it took me twice as long to enter my order, and I had to go to the counter anyway because I had a special request that wasn’t on the electronic menu.

    They could improve this, I think, by merging the best of the old and the new. Still let you put in your checks one by one so you can get the images, but just like before, just enter a total yourself. Don’t try to verify each one. They can (and will) do that later. That way you aren’t taking forever to make sure the OCR is correct, and you get your images.

  53. Anonymous

    I don’t really have any interest in opening a BoA account, but I’d prefer to have convenience for myself first and the bank second. Unless it keeps costs down enough to make it worthwhile, which then feeds back to convenience to me (if in a different fashion!)

  54. Anonymous

    I have a USAA checking account, which is available to people who have been in the military (some services are available to the general public, I’m not sure about the checking accounts). They don’t have local branches, normally you would mail in deposits using prepaid envelopes they provide to you.

    Recently they’ve introduced something called “[email protected]”, which lets you scan in checks instead–it shows you the images of front and back, and once the deposit is confirmed, you simply tear up the check.

    I like the idea a lot–I hate going to bank branches, and this seems one step closer to truly being able to bank at home. USAA also reimburses ATM fees for several transactions per month at any ATM, which really makes things convenient.

    Unfortunately, for some reason [email protected] hasn’t worked for me yet, the application gives some sort of error at the end of the process. It shows me the check images, but it doesn’t seem to be able to read the routing/account numbers for some reason. I have a cheap, old scanner, so it may have something to do with that. I may go out and buy a new scanner to see if it fixes the problem–if it does, I think it would be worth it for the time it would save me. The other problem I’ve had is that it doesn’t seem to work at all in Firefox–I had to switch to IE to get as far as I did with it.

    I do think this is the future though–banks don’t want to handle the paper any more than I do, and I think most banks are reaching the point where they scan and shred the checks at the branch anyway, so this move is really just pushing that process back onto the customer, which in this case is fine with me.

    I wouldn’t be as excited with the BoA system you’ve described–if I’m already at the ATM, and it slows down the process, I don’t really see the benefit (to me anyway).

  55. Anonymous

    These sound pretty cool. I am willing to bet that these will become mainstream in the next few years.

    I don’t use BoA anymore because they are not convenient in my area, so I will have to wait awhile…

Leave a Reply