How Bank Tellers Are Quietly Disappearing From America

Published on 02/05/2020
ADVERTISEMENT

Depending on where you bank, you may have noticed that these days, you might complete a transaction, or even gain access to your cash at a bank, without talking to another human being. This is not uncommon, and is a trend being seen across the world. Banks have fewer staff and likely no tellers, which is a product of the digitization and rise of technology in the industry itself. Let’s delve a little deeper into this, taking a look at how this has been happening, and what we can expect from our interactions with banks as we look towards the coming years.

How Bank Tellers Are Quietly Disappearing From America

How Bank Tellers Are Quietly Disappearing From America

Where a Bank Branch Gets Its Manpower From

In the past, banks got their manpower from tellers, especially as there were many more in-person transactions than you will see today. As it is now possible to make a transaction using a computer or mobile device, at the touch of a button really, the need to have a middleman for the transaction becomes less important, especially when banks can charge a small convenience fee for online transfers. This not only means that they earn on each transaction, but that they no longer need to pay overheads on someone considered to be a teller as a specialist. Banks now get their manpower from how they incorporate technology into their service offering, and how effective and easy it is for clients to do a transfer and gain access to their money.

Where A Bank Branch Gets Its Manpower From

Where A Bank Branch Gets Its Manpower From

Why Tellers Are Losing Their Jobs

The rise of online banking has meant that bank tellers have been losing their jobs at a rate of around 8% between now and 2026. The US had over 500 000 tellers in 2017, and this number will decrease significantly over time, especially as machine learning practices are improved and customers are able to handle banking queries without needing to consult with another human. As with many roles in other sectors, technology is requiring people to become generalists in their field, rather than specializing in a particular role. This allows employees to become less redundant, and able to make a shift if need be once their traditional role gets taken over by artificial intelligence and other technological innovations.

What To Expect As We Look Towards The Future

Technology is helping us to be more efficient in how we work, live and play. The future of the banking sector will see more universal banker roles, where a bank employee plays a hybrid “in house” and online role. These tellers will be more involved in in-depth problem solving, and less involved with administrative tasks and duties which can be performed by a bot. Keep in mind that these positions will be highly sought after, and there will be more competition, especially as tellers lose their jobs in the coming years. Financial downturn, especially if this happens as a result of external factors, could make these jobs even more scarce. Interested parties should make sure they are learning a more generalized approach to banking, should they wish to be considered for a more universal role in banking. The same rings true for most industries, as technology continues to disrupt and innovate, making life easier in some senses, and harder in others.

ADVERTISEMENT