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What digital banking can’t do

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

One of America's biggest banks wants to remind customers that human interaction still matters when it comes to managing your  money.

TD Bank recently launched "Bank Human, Again," a new advertising campaign that highlights why account holders should still count on real human beings for their banking needs. From staying open later to offering dog treats to providing free coin counting, TD Bank calls attention to a range of services that customers can only find in-person.

Banks like Ally and CIT have adopted a model that relies solely on Internet banking. Other institutions like Bank of America have checking accounts that actually charge for customers if they make a deposit or a withdrawal with an actual person. As banks looks to lower their overhead expenses, they're counting on tech-savvy consumers to turn to human-less channels.

"Technology is an added convenience but shouldn't be an excuse to take away the human option should someone need it," says Vinoo Vijay, chief marketing officer of TD Bank.

While my colleagues and I have covered plenty of signs that account holders are replacing bank branches with computer screens and mobile devices, TD Bank is looking to prove that a big network of branches and ATMs and friendly tellers remain essential ingredients of a good banking experience. Banking via tablet, laptop and smartphone is certainly easy for many account holders, but there are many situations where real human interaction can make all the difference.

What do you think? Do you still enjoy human banking? Or are screen and automated call centers enough to keep you satisfied?

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3 Comments
Don
January 08, 2013 at 3:34 pm

@Dave - I never rely on the banking institution to stop the auto withdrawls. If I pay off an account, I also make sure that the stop is put in for that. To me, that is just plain common sense. Bank fees is also why I use credit unions now. Rates are normally better and you get to talk with actual people. Oh yes, I still use the electronic pay for alot of things but I also have control over the auto-deductions.

Neil Savage
January 08, 2013 at 11:28 am

I MUCH prefer banking in person. I have left BOA in favor of a local bank. Now, when I walk in, I'm greeted pleasantly, I'm no longer asked for my photo I. D. (even though I'd been with the same branch of BOA for several years and knew the tellers by name.) Also, if there is a problem, there is a human being to help resolve it...

dave bitkowski
January 05, 2013 at 2:54 pm

WARNING DO NOT EVER PREPAY A MORTAGE ACCOUNT THAT HAS AN AUTOMATIC WITH DRAW SET UP WITH YOUR ACCOUNT! I PRE PAID MINE WITH WELLS FARGO NOT KNOWING THAT THE SYSTEM DOES NOT REGOGNIZE A PREPAYMENT. NOT KNOWING THIS I WROTE A NUMBER OF CHECKS ON MY ACCOUNT AND OF COURSE WHEN THE AUTOMATIC WITH DRAW WAS MADE IT CAUSED ME TO HAVE A NUMBER OF OVERDRAFT CHARGES. THEY REFUNDED OUT 1/2 of 4 over charge fees . Reversed the payment. to balance my account. i had to transfer funds from my bankcard and got a $45.00 fee for that. THE MORTAGE STATEMENT FOR THE MOTH SAYS NO PAYMENT DUE TILL 02/13 LOW AND BEHOLD IT HAPPENED AGAIN, THEIR SYSTEM DID IT AGAIN UVERDRAFT FEES ECT. CALLED MOETAGE WELLS FARGO AGAIN SAID GO TO BANK IN THE MORNING SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO TO REVERSE THE OVER DRAFT FEES . WHY CAN'T THEY JUST FIX THIS AND INSTALL A PROGRAM IN THEIR AUTOMATIC WITHDRAW SYSTEM TO RECONISE THIS WHEN SOMEONE DOES THIS