NCR Corporation (NCR) has launched tablet-based retail banking software designed to enable bank tellers to connect faster and in a more personalized way with customers.

Interactive Banker software automates many branch functions, allowing banks and credit unions to remove teller counters, vaults and other non-consumer-facing infrastructure that typically takes up as much as 70% of a branch's floor space, NCR said in a press release. Instead branch staff can walk the floor and stream customer data into tablet PCs.

Interactive Banker includes two components: An advanced financial services kiosk with a sleek, modern design that alone can complete as much as 90% of typical branch transactions; and Interactive Teller, branch software installed on tablet PCs that enables employees to directly assist customers who are using the kiosks. This combination of kiosk-based self-service and tablet-based technology for branch employees aims to fundamentally change "the person-to-person experience within a branch," making it similar to consumer experiences while shopping, checking in to the airport or going to the doctor.

"By bringing tellers and all of their equipment out from behind the counter [and letting them] interact with customers in an open environment, we incorporate technology while retaining that human touch," said Jed Taylor, vice president and general manager, NCR Interactive Services.

Bank and credit union branches already have changed dramatically and are expected to change even more than they have in the last several decades combined, he added, motivating financial institutions to rethink their branch space and operations. Industry data show teller transactions have decreased by 31% in the past 10 years, but at the same time, according to Deloitte & Touche, branches remain essential to financial institutions generating approximately 70% of all new product sales and opening up to 90% of all new accounts.

NCR estimates suggest that Interactive Banker can help a financial institution increase its annual operating profit by up to $300 per square foot. And banks can open smaller-footprint branches in locations that are more convenient for customers.

NCR has market tested the new branch technology by initially using it to support Wells Fargo's new small footprint branches in Washington, D.C. and other areas. Headquartered in Duluth, Ga., NCR does business in 180 countries and so far has introduced Interactive Banker in key markets in North America, Western Europe and South Asia.

NCR technology highlights include installing the nation's first ATM that complies with the so-called Europay, MasterCard and Visa, or EMV, in 2013.

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