November 12, 2018 08:00 AM
Customer: Investors Bank, Short Hills NJ, USA
Story: An NCR SelfServTM 80 Series ATM case study
By modernizing their network of ATMs with NCR’s SelfServ 80 Series ATMs and ITMs, Investors Bank improved their customer experience, brought their brand image in line with their business strategy and empowered their employers to deliver exceptional service to their customers.
NCR SelfServTM 80 Series ATMs
For more than 90 years, Investors Bank has served local communities and individuals in New Jersey. From its foundations in a small thrift store in Millburn, New Jersey, Investors Bank is now the largest community bank in the state; today, the bank’s 2000-strong staff draw on that pedigree to maintain the highest standards of customer service — so much so, that when it comes to customer satisfaction, the bank consistently ranks among the top providers in New Jersey and New York.
Investors Bank now has more than 150 branches and 180 ATMs that serve communities from the suburbs of Philadelphia to Long Island, New York, meaning the bank serves a diverse community with a diverse set of banking and financial needs.
“We have some of the largest commercial customers in the region as well as consumers who have traditional needs and are still loyal to their passbook-savings account,” explains Bill Brown, Director of Retail Banking, Investors Bank. “We also have customers in communities where traditional banking services are not always readily available. Our fundamental motivation is to ensure that all of our customers feel that they have a personalized experience with us. For Investors, banking isn’t just a numbers business. It’s a people business.”
Its commitment to being a ‘people business’ means that Investors Bank has to stay in touch with what customers want as their preferences evolve and needs change. Services like mobile and online banking are increasingly popular, and Investors Bank has seen more and more of their customers choose these channels for their banking needs.
However, Brown and his colleagues realized more and more of their customer base was using the ATM — and not just for traditional cash withdrawal and deposit functions — so they needed an ATM estate that could offer the services their customers wanted.
“Obviously, we want our customers to interact with us in any way they choose,” says Brown. “We're also well aware that, over time, our customers prefer to use some of the more advanced technologies that are available to them. So we felt strongly that ITMs — interactive telling machines — were the way forward.”
He continues, “For us, the bank branch is becoming less a place where people come to perform a simple transaction over a counter and more a source of human interaction, relationship advice and counsel. It’s a big cultural shift, and it fundamentally alters the role of bank staff. In the bank of the future, they’re relationship managers and financial concierges, there to help customers use technology and ensure they get the best out of the banking experience.”
The problem was that many of the ATMs in Investors Bank’s network were more than eight years old. They no longer aligned with the bank’s brand or their commitment to customers.
It was time to refresh and modernize the ATM estate, so that Investors Bank could meet the needs of all their customers and continue to improve the experience of banking through technology.
“We needed to put our technology foot forward and invest in the future,” says Brown. “We wanted ATMs that could grow and adapt to meet the current and future needs of our customers — and of the bank. So, we chose to refresh our ATM network with the NCR SelfServ 80 Series ATM family.”
The NCR SelfServ 80 Series ATMs give Investors Bank a fleet of machines that are durable and reliable, and that ensure exceptionally high levels of availability for customers who needed banking services at any time. They have a modern look and feel, with sleek, smoked-glass screens that enhance the brand image and demonstrate to customers that the bank is serious about investing to meet their technology requirements.
The NCR SelfServ 80 Series ATMs also increase security at the ATM, while its improved dispenser and new module for check and cash deposit improves the overall efficiency of the machines. The new models are also easy for branch staff to work with, and make it easier for the bank’s ATM team to centrally monitor performance.
“These are clearly ATMs designed with the customer experience as a priority,” says Brown. “The design encourages users to feel they are in an intimate — and protected — setting when they’re at the ATM. That’s before you consider the anti-skim design and enhanced fraud prevention measures. Even the phone is in a more convenient and intuitive place. And once you use the new ATMs, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into designing routine transactions to improve the customer experience.”
However, the features and functions of the technology were not the only deciding factors, as Brown explains. “As sophisticated as the technology is, we wanted a partner on our side who was going to grow and work with us. NCR were with us as we started to think about what the future of ATM and ITM technology could look like. They helped us define our goals and expectations and they shared thought leadership about how technology is going to evolve, and then they provided technical, intellectual, engineering and marketing support. Our relationship is very much that of partners.”
The solution results
“The NCR SelfServ 80 Series ATMs represents a big step forward for us and really represents Investors' commitment to giving our customers the best available in the industry,” says Brown. “I can absolutely say that we made the right decision to deploy the NCR SelfServ 80 Series ATMs. The technology will grow with us over time and we have the ability to expand as we evolve. The reliability of the machine and the ability for us to present a look and feel that is much more modern in its appearance really, I think, enhances our brand image.”
To date, more than 50 ATMs have been installed in some of Investors Bank’s busiest drive-throughs and walk-ups, as well as more community and local branches. With another 50 ATMs due to be installed in the near future, the bank has already identified a number of significant improvements to the customer experience.
One of the biggest benefits of installing the NCR SelfServ 80 Series ATMs has been the assurance and comfort that the new machines offer clients. For example, customers are much more comfortable making transactions through the ATM, knowing the transaction will be verified and posted to their accounts correctly thanks to the new deposit-imaging capabilities.
The reliability is much greater, improving uptimes and availability for customers who have provided plenty of positive feedback about the ease of use, the features and functions, the look and feel of the ATMs, and the changes to their experience of technology. All of which has had a positive impact on Investors Bank’s customer satisfaction scores and its brand image.
The benefits of the new ATMs are also recognized by employees. Their feedback shows they’re much easier to service and maintain. Employees also report the new ATMs are encouraging change in client behavior: More and more customers are opting to use drive-through lanes equipped with the new ATMs, rather than the traditional teller drive-ups, because they prefer the ATM channel for their banking needs.
However, perhaps the most significant influence is one that is hard to quantify, and that is confidence.
“We have confidence that we chose the right partner in NCR and we have the confidence that we chose the right machine in the SelfServ 80 Series, “ concludes Brown. “Because we've had such great feedback it gives us the luxury of knowing that, as we continue to roll these out, our customers are going to continue to appreciate that investment in their banking experience.”