NSB introduces new teller technology

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Tony Scafariello, Wallingford branch manager for Naugatuck Savings Bank, talks remotely with teller Sandra Soares via a video hookup on the bank's new Personal Teller Machine Dec. 11. The PTM, the first of its kind in Connecticut, allows customers to speak with tellers based in Naugatuck to complete transactions. –RA ARCHIVE

WALLINGFORD — Naugatuck Savings Bank has added a new electronic face to banking.

The bank’s Wallingford branch, located at 665 North Colony Road, had two Personal Teller Machines installed inside the bank that went live when the bank opened in December. The new Wallingford branch, the bank’s 19th, is the fifth branch to open in two years.

A PTM is similar to an ATM, but customers can have a real time, face-to-face conversation with one of the bank’s customer consultants via a screen and telephone handset.

Dawn Orsini, Naugatuck Savings Bank’s vice president of retail banking, said there are many advantages to installing a PTM at the bank.

“By utilizing this technology we were able to increase hour coverage by 27 hours,” Orsini said.

She said the customer consultants, who work out of the bank’s headquarters at on New Haven Road in Naugatuck, will be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Orsini said customers would be able to use the PTM to make deposits and withdrawals, cash checks, make loan payments, and issue bank checks.

“You can do almost everything with a personal teller as in a branch with a physical teller,” Orsini said.

Orsini said the PTMs would not pose any difficulties for people who were wary about using them.

“It’s very easy to use. All you need to do when you walk up to the Personal Teller is touch the screen. Live video feed starts and the teller can walk you through your transaction,” Orsini said.

She explained that to access their bank account all a customer would need to do is to scan their driver’s license at the machine. Once that was done, there would be no need to fill out a withdrawal or deposit ticket. The customer would simply tell the customer consultant what transactions need to be done.

Gene Pranger, the founder and CEO of uGenius, the company that makes the Personal Tellers, said that the first units were introduced in 2004 and a second version was launched in 2008.

According to Pranger PTMs are currently in 16 states and two other countries.

Naugatuck Savings Bank is the first bank in Connecticut to employ the PTMs.

“Naugatuck Savings Bank is leading the efforts in the state,” Pranger said.

Orsini said the bank is happy to lead the state in this direction.

“We are very proud of the fact we are the first bank in Connecticut to offer this and we really believe this is the future of banking,” Orsini said.

Orsini explained that the bank has no plans to expand the machines to their other branches at this time.

“We do not have definite plans at this point and time … but we would not have gone down this road if we did not feel this was the future of banking,” Orsini said.

She explained the bank would have to assess the customer feedback and if it was the best way to serve the customers.

Pranger felt that there wouldn’t be any question that customers will like the PTMs, since the machines have received a 97 percent positive rating from customers at the other locations.

Pranger also said that the banks would like these machines because it could allow banks to have a presence in places like malls or airports without having to open a full branch.

Pranger was also pleased with how secure the PTMs were.

“It’s built to the same standards as a traditional ATM. All the same safeguards are built in,” Pranger said. “It helps prevent fraud related activity. It is a theft deterrent. They have to walk across the street to a traditional bank if they want to rob someone.”