The kiosks are being rolled out as a compliment to instant card-issuing machines from Datacard that Chase formally introduced this week into 2,000 branches in its retail branch system of approximately 5,500 locations.
The self-service kiosk first appeared in just a few test branches 2011, but in the second half of 2012 the test expanded to just over 100 locations. Officially, the kiosk initiative remains in the “pilot” phase.
This new Chase kiosk does more than an ATM. The kiosk can dispense bills in any denomination, and offer higher withdrawal limits for qualified customers. They also feature coin dispensers, which will be activated in the next few months when the self-service kiosks will also turn on check-cashing capabilities. Other features, such as an NFC reader and barcode reader, are ready, waiting for those technologies to mature and be adopted by customers.
The kiosks feature portrait-style 21.5-inch touchscreens — like a large iPad.
Brad Nolan, head of design for branch innovation at JPMorgan Chase, said the kiosk and card-issuing machine have had an effect on branch experience.
“Our biggest finding has been with the customer interaction model,” he said. “With specialists and tellers on hand, the SSB (self-service banking kiosk) can be a conversation piece. Tellers can walk over to the kiosk and show them how to use it. By enabling and empowering the customer, we’re enriching the interaction with the teller and the branch.”
Video banking is not a part of the self-serve process, but Nolan did not rule out the possibility.
Interestingly, Chase sees the kiosk serving the entire spectrum of customers, with the capacity for larger withdrawals and bill denominations for affluent clients, and check-cashing for the less affluent.
The instant card-issuing devices, meanwhile, are available in 2,000 locations, generally new branches built since July 2012, and older branches that have been retrofitted in that same period, as well as the bulk of branches in three key markets: Los Angeles, Chicago, and the Tri-State area around New York.
The device looks like a large desktop printer you might see in any office. It contains six hoppers or storage cassettes containing stacks of cards that can be embossed and turned into permanent debit cards on the spot, while a customer waits. It can take two weeks for a card to be delivered through the mail, so this is a major timesaver for customers.
Chase’s debit cards, including the prepaid Liquid card, can be issued in this way. Credit cards are more challenging due to the wide variety of cards as well as affinity partners. Chase credit cards are expected to be available for instant issuance next year.
An additional 800 locations, both new and retrofitted branches, are expected to house the card-issuing machines in 2013. The locations of new branches are currently being evaluated, Nolan said, although new branch development will likely focus on the growth markets of Florida and California, according to a report prepared for investors.
Describing the process of getting instant card issuing machines in place, Nolan said, “It’s been a journey of a couple of years, learning how our tellers and personnel would interact with the device, and the journey continues.”
Beginning in July of 2012, Chase began installing these machines in newly built and retrofitted branches.
Nolan envisions the two devices working side by side. With self-service kiosks placed in teller lines, customers can interact with tellers for necessary functions, and perform self-service tasks while they wait. No one likes waiting in line — and self-service transactions save Chase money, too.
The logical conclusion of the interaction between the kiosks and the card issuer is the self-service card-issuing machine. (Datacard has already created such devices.) Imagine the convenience. Your card is lost or worn out. Your mobile device tells you an instant card-issuing branch is two minutes away. Two minutes later you’re standing at a machine where you can print your own card instantly, and you’re back in business.
Alas, Chase has no plans to issue such machines in the near future, according to Nolan.