I went to the bank last week, but ended up instead in the future!
(Cue the dramatic music!)
It was an ordinary day for mild-mannered Nick Claussen, and on this day I took a trip to my interesting local bank.
I went to a new branch location, but was thrown off when I entered the building and looked around. Where was everyone? Why did this bank look so different? Why were there so many glass walls? Was I dreaming? Wait a minute, did I forget to wear pants again?
Luckily, I was not dreaming and did have pants on, and soon I saw a young man, also wearing pants, coming up to greet me.
“Welcome to our new location,” he said with a grin.
“Lank loo,” I said grinning back at him. I don’t speak very clearly while grinning.
“Thank you,” I said while opening my mouth this time. “This looks nice, but what do I do here?” He was the only person I could see in the bank, and I was not sure where I was supposed to take my check. I also wondered for a moment if I was even in the new bank or if I had gone into some other store by mistake.
“Is this your first time here?” he said.
“Yes, but I have been in banks before,” I said, not wanting to sound stupid but doing so anyway.
“That’s great,” he replied. “Let me show you around.”
I’ve never been “shown around” a bank before, but I was hoping to see the room where they keep all of the money. I envision it to be like in old the Scrooge McDuck comics where the cranky but loveable duck would swim around in a giant room filled with cash.
Instead, the guy showed me what looked like a row of automatic teller machines (ATMs) inside little glass rooms. He told me that these were much more than ATMs and that I would have people talking to me through the machines.
I was confused by this, but he gave me a $5 bank certificate to try it, so I decided I would try to communicate with the machines.
“I’ll be nearby if you need any help,” the guy said to me. I considered hugging him, but instead made a terrible pun.
“Bank you,” I said quietly. He bankfully did not hear me and I slowly closed the glass door and turned to the mysterious machine. It had a lot of different buttons and looked very high tech, but for some reason it also had an old type phone with a cord hooked to the machine.
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to use the phone or not, so I tapped on the glass to get the guy’s attention and then made a hand motion of a phone. I assumed he could not hear me due to the glass walls, so I mouthed the words to him with a very large and slow DO —–I ——TALK —–INTO —THIS?
“No,” he said quietly and I could hear him quite easily. “Just push that big button that says start.”
I pushed the button and very quickly the screen lit up and some other guy’s face showed up on the computer.
“Lello, “I said with a nervous grin. I have got to stop speaking with a grin.
“Hi,” it said. The face on the screen explained that he was a real person (or at least he wanted me to think that he was…) and he was working somewhere else in the bank.
The android person asked me what I wanted to do at the bank, and then told me to put the check into a slot that magically lit up. The check was then immediately scanned in, and then I could see it on the screen.
I told the mechanical man I wanted to put the cash from the check and my gift card thing from the guy out front into my checking account, and the person in the computer didn’t even laugh at me for how little money I had in my checking account at the time.
Right away, I knew that I had made a connection with this half man/half machine and that we were going to become good friends.
The tv screen guy put the money into my account, gave me a receipt that printed out at another spot that lit up on the ATM, and then asked if I had any other questions.
I considered asking how he was able to fit inside the ATM, but just told him I was impressed that the receipt printed on both sides and even had a picture of my check on it. It was actually pretty cool.
The cyborg person went on to explain that the bank officials (I assume they are like the bank officials in “Mary Poppins”) basically think it will be easier for the customers to deal with the ATMs that broadcast images of real people instead of just dealing with real people. I’m not quite sure I understand that logic, but I let the machine-man continue.
He also said that they hope to use these machines around town and even around the state in some cases, and just put them out like ATMs. So you could be in another town, stop at an gas station, buy some doughnuts and then use the ATM there where you could talk to the guy in the screen who would be back at the bank and could help you. It is actually pretty neat and convenient, and it would be a fun way to keep up with my new friend. I could go on all kinds of adventures and then stop at an ATM to tell him all about it!
It seems rather futuristic and a little odd, but I have to admit that it was also very quick and easy. I liked the robotic bank teller and I enjoyed working with the high-tech machines.
What could go wrong? It all seems like it will go perfectly and these new machines and robots will make our lives much easier. I like them a lot, and that’s what I told the video guy before I left the bank.
“I’ll be back,” I said, and I gave him a thumbs up.
Would you like to send me more money to deposit into my bank account so that I can write more about it? If so, or if you have any thoughts on the cyborg banks, feel free to comment below. Thanks.