Monday, December 28, 2009

Technology that Harms the Consumer Experience

In the past year, Bank of America has introduced new ATM technology. Instead of depositing checks in an envelope, you insert checks directly into the ATM. The machine scans the check and reads the amount, and then it completes the deposit. Sounds great, right? Well, the technology certainly has promise, but I find that it actually worsens the consumer experience if you have multiple checks to deposit. The process becomes considerably slower than the old envelope method if you are trying to deposit three or four checks. Moreover, it becomes very tedious if the scanning technology fails to read the check amount properly. In that case, if you have forgotten the precise amount of the check you wish to deposit, you face a very frustrating further slowdown.

I raise this example not to bash Bank of America. The technology clearly has great promise. However, Bank of America's ATM provides a vivid example of a company rolling out a new technology that has great benefits for the bank, but actually has some serious negatives for the customer. The bank is not alone. Many companies do this, focusing on how a technology can improve efficiency or accuracy for the firm, without understanding how it may hurt a critical feature of the user experience (in this case, speed).

1 comment:

If Our Parents Only Knew said...

Mr. Roberto,

I totally disagree with you regarding the Bank of America Check Deposit system. I have been a Bank of America/Fleet customer for a long time, I could now be more satisfied with the new system. I can not even tell you the last time I walked into a bank...which I am extremely happy about. Also, the other day I saw am ATM machine that excepted a stack of checks, up to 20 I believe and a stack of bills, up to 40 I believe. So they are improving the system, like any technology it will take time to perfect. But right now I am happy with the product, and await what the future brings.

I enjoy reading your blog and the topics you discuss. Keep up the excellent work!