Becker urges Matz on VTM as service facility
June 7, 2012 – NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker on Wednesday urged NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz to ensure that the agency consider video teller machines as service facilities for the purpose of charter expansions.
Becker invited Matz to work with NAFCU in promoting new technologies that can help credit unions expand cost-effective services to members and to persons currently lacking credit union service. Such technologies are an important component in helping to reduce credit unions’ regulatory burden, he added.
Video teller machines, or virtual tellers, function as traditional branches function. Members are able to interact live and face to face with tellers; the difference is that the interaction is electronic, via a video screen. Virtual tellers can authorize transactions, review check images and dispense cash, Becker noted. In fact, they can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so access often surpasses that available with a brick-and-mortar facility.
Becker said video teller machines can reduce branch operating costs, free staff to focus more on promoting services and require comparatively little investment in real estate. “Further, they decrease the risk of exposure of tellers to criminal activity,” he said.
The video teller machine is not the traditional automated teller machine. At a fundamental level, Becker said, VTMs operate differently than ATMs “and are much more similar to a traditional teller booth.”
In considering future charter expansions, he said, NCUA is urged to consider “all new technologies that fit into NCUA’s definitions of service facilities.”