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Automated teller wins kudos from bank customers

Those automated tellers I feel comfortable about; I never hear them snicker when I draw three dollars out.m Anon

That may be one of the reasons today for the new popularity of interface machine-banking. But on the West Coast, some of the largest banks are finding there are other pluses in the use of automated tellers (ATM) -- especially for customers.

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California's fourth and fifth largest banks, Crocker and United California, are each racing to install almost 300 ATMs apiece by the end of 1981 to catch up with this exploding consumer preference. Crocker now leads thestate in functioning units with about one-half that number, but UCB is not far behind. California bank officials say the cash-dispensing robots (made by companies like IBM, Docutel, and Diebold) are a hit with the public for several reasons:

* ATMs are quick. Complete customer transactions with roll-out printed-tape receipts take onlyseconds.

* ATMs are versatile. Available on push buttons are inter-account transfers, immediate cash withdrawal (up to several hundred dollars in some cases) from any type of account, taking of deposits, account balance information instantaneously and cash loans from bank-authorized credit cards.

* ATMs are available. Many banks keep units open and fully operational 24 hours. And customerneed not trek to my-own-branch to use one -- any ATM of a particular bank will oblige, regardless of area.

* ATMs remember. Customers don't have to know their own account numbers in most cases, only their specially issued four-digit codes. The robots execute all transactions from push-button screen readouts and ask question like," -- anything else? Press yes or no and wait."

Proof that money-automation-for-everyone is changing the way West Coast resident bank is shown in recent Crocker Bank statistics. Almost one-third of its ATM transactions now take place on weekends; and over one-half are requested by customers at branches other than those where customers' accounts are carried.

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