Banks and Automation

Although I’m usually pretty quick to adapt to new technologies and automation, I’ve been a holdout with the banks. The rare time I get a check, I still prefer to go into the bank and endorse it in front of a teller. I usually handle cash the same way.

I’m not sure why I cling to my old-fashioned and outdated modes of banking. Now it’s possible to deposit a check from anywhere by taking a picture of it with your phone. And most ATMs now accept cash and check deposits without an envelope. The first time I observed my partner, a modern and updated bank customer, seamlessly deposit cash without an envelope, I was kind of impressed with how well the system worked.

Prior to that, having to find an envelope and a pen to make a deposit, was always kind of annoying. Often the ATMs wouldn’t be stocked with envelopes making it impossible to do a deposit. I remember remarking once to my partner that he should just carry around some extra ATM envelopes so he always had one. But then the new system arrived providing a paper-free experience with ATM deposits.

Now I was ready to embrace ATM deposits, a seamless experience without the hassle of envelopes and pens, and long awkward waits at the machines for people to count and prepare their deposits. I would just leapfrog ahead from my ancient dinosaur, luddite methods of banking straight to the most modern and slick option. But alas, the new system at the ATM has failed me on a number of occasions.

Some months ago, spying a long line inside, I figured I would use the ATM to make a cash deposit. However, the machine wouldn’t accept any of my bills, something that never happens when you hand cash to a person. When I finally reached the teller, he explained that sometimes the ATMs refuse cash if it has little creases or bends in it. This seemed like a pretty serious design flaw to me as people rarely deposit cash in mint condition into an ATM.

The ATM deposits are mostly a seamless experience, but every once in a while, the machine refuses to accept a certain bill, making me long for the good old days of tellers or cumbersome envelopes. Options that accept your deposits in full, wrinkled and creased.

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