Technology is the answer to banks' customer service concerns. It all started with automated teller machines, and the next natural step in banking technology is banking by phone. Interactive voice response promises to be as widespread in banking as ATMs are today.

These voice systems allow phones to act as terminals for host computers to retrieve or input information. About 70% of banks with more than $1 billion in assets are now using the systems to provide customer service. About half of the banks with assets of less than $1 billion use IVR.

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