Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PNC Financial Services Group completes ATM upgrades in Charlotte

Four months after announcing plans to upgrade its Charlotte-area automated teller machines, PNC Financial Services Group said Wednesday that the process is finished.

In Charlotte, 16 ATMs are now so-called DepositEasy machines, the Pittsburgh-based regional lender said. All told, roughly 170 ATMs in its Western and Eastern Carolina coverage area have been upgraded.

Among other things, the ATMs dispense one- 10- and 20-dollar bills.

PNC said Wednesday that the upgrades to 3,600 ATMs in its markets were completed this month, resulting in half of its 7,200 machines receiving the upgrades. The upgrading began in 2012, it said.

PNC is far from the only bank to make recent tweaks to their ATMs. Despite the migration of customers to online and mobile banking, banks still view ATMs as a necessary expense, industry observers and bankers say.

Bank of America this year unveiled its Teller Assist ATMs, which have the noteworthy feature of providing real-time access, via a video screen, to tellers stationed in call centers. The tellers can be accessed beyond normal banking hours, including on Sundays.

Also this year, Wells Fargo announced redesigned ATMs that feature, among other things, one-touch “favorites” buttons based on what a customer does most, such as withdrawing $60.

PNC has upgraded its ATMs as it is seeing growing use of the machines and mobile apps for making deposits. According to the lender, 23 percent of its customers' deposits made in the second quarter were through ATMs or mobile apps, up from 14 percent a year ago.

PNC's new ATMs allow cash and checks to be deposited without envelopes, a feature that some other banks' ATMs also offer. Before PNC upgraded its ATMs, some of its machines allowed envelope-less deposits, a spokesperson said.

Among other things, PNC's new ATMs:

  • Allow check deposits made by 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to be considered to have been made that day, with cash available immediately.
  • Provide a printed image of the check if the receipt option is chosen.
  • Allow the transfer of funds between linked accounts.
  • Give users the option to set customized ATM preferences. For example, a customer can choose what PNC calls a personalized "Fast Cash" amount.