Chase Seeks Competitive Edge in Speedy ATM Transactions

QuickChoice Service Skips Commercials to Get Customers Cash Fast

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Tired of waiting almost a full minute to free your cash from an ATM? While some banks add commercials to their ATM screens and offer
ATM screens have evolved into advertising venues for many banks that also use them to sell movie tickets and postage stamps.
ATM screens have evolved into advertising venues for many banks that also use them to sell movie tickets and postage stamps.
stamps and other conveniences, JPMorgan Chase sees opportunity in impatience. Chase's QuickChoice service aims to cut ATM time from an epic 42 seconds down to 24 seconds.

Fast cash
"The No. 1 reason people choose a bank for their checking account is the location of a branch near where they live or work," said Tom Kelly, senior VP, JPMorgan Chase. "So we have built a huge branch network, and we've asked ourselves: What else do people need for convenience? They need cash." And they need it fast.

Like those of many other banks, Chase's ATMs may promote other services while a transaction is processing, but otherwise streamlining and simplifying is the name of the game.

Movie tickets
"We don't do movie previews; we don't sell movie tickets," Mr. Kelly said. "If you need to get
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$100 in cash so you can hop in a cab ... you don't want to be behind somebody who's asking if they should go to the 5:20 or 6:25 show." QuickChoice cuts ATM time in half, according to Chase studies. A withdrawal with a receipt typically takes just under 42 seconds. By allowing customers to preset preferences for a "fast-cash" option, QuickChoice would make that same transaction in just under 24 seconds.

Chase will continue to offer bells and whistles to those patient souls who don't sign up for QuickChoice -- as will other banks.

Citibank, which estimates it sees more than 18 million ATM transactions nationwide each month, also sees speed as a key factor in pleasing customers. But with so many using machines instead of tellers, ATMs are an important way to inform clients about Citibank services. Without adding any time to transactions, Citibank highlights one bank product each month on its welcome screens, as a sidebar during selection and processing, and again while money is being dispensed. Another ad for the product is printed on the back of receipts.

Wachovia: postage stamp sales
At Wachovia, the automated teller machine is seen as an important channel of customer outreach -- and a possible differentiator from one bank to the next. Wachovia research shows speed and convenience are customers' No. 1 needs. And while it, like Chase, wants to make the ATM process as quick as possible, "there's a balance between giving customers their cash quickly and providing the other services they are looking for," said Shelly M. Chandler, VP-ATM service excellence director at Wachovia.

Wachovia offers postage stamps and is piloting an envelope-free deposit program.

According to Chase and Wachovia, ATMs handle far more interactions than human tellers -- and 80%-85% are cash withdrawals. Ultimately, though, ATMs are only a piece of the marketing pie. "None of these are stand-alone things," Mr. Kelly said. "They are all part of getting a bigger share of the market ... keeping our current customers and making them happier, and getting more customers."
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