Lloyds TSB is working on a new deposit-taking machine that will revolutionise business banking across its branch network.
The bank is creating the first machine that can take in and process cash and cheques without the need for a cashier.
At the moment, customers can either deposit cheques and cash in a night safe or they can pay them into a machine in envelopes. This credits the amount to their account, but must be verified by a staff member before it can be cleared.
Gordon Pell, Lloyds TSB group director of retail banking, says: “No one has yet come up with a machine that can automatically process cash and cheques, but we are working on one and it will transform our branch network.”
The machine will have to be able to read handwritten figures on cheques and could use laser technology. It is aimed at small businesses which must physically deposit large sums of cash and cheques every week and which cannot rely on direct distribution methods such as the Internet, the telephone and the postal service.
Pell says: “The existing paying-in machines are not realistic for small businesses which might want to pay in 50 cheques and £500 in notes. When we create a machine that can not only take in such quantities but process them completely as well, we can automate our branch network more fully.”
The new machine forms part of a broader Lloyds TSB drive to lessen the impact of its 800 high street branch closures on its business customers.
Last week Lloyds TSB revealed plans for a network of 50 banks dedicated to business customers (MW August 5).