Tablet-toting employees replace tellers as banks in US go digital

Number of tellers in Washington area down by some 50% in 10 years, outpacing 17 per cent drop nationally


WHEN Wells Fargo opened its first high-tech branch three years ago in Washington's NoMa neighbourhood, it did away with desks and replaced traditional counters with large touchscreen ATMs. Also gone from its location were tellers.

Instead, the 1,000-square-foot branch has a handful of tablet-toting employees to help customers navigate technology to deposit cheques, apply for loans or open savings accounts. It's a model that's being replicated throughout the region, leading to a shift in the number - and types - of employees at area banks.

The number of bank tellers in the region has dropped by nearly half in the past 10 years, from 10,980 in 2005 to 5,990 in 2015, outpacing a 17 per cent...

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