When ATMs were first introduced, many predicted bank tellers would disappear, as transactional tasks could now be completed by machines. Yet between 1970 and 2010, the number of tellers increased — even as the number of ATMs grew. Tellers’ marketing and interpersonal skills became vital to the job, as they completed tasks that ATMs couldn’t.
The need for critical skills continues to challenge the financial services sector. As blockchain technology threatens to further automate transactions and processes, employee responsibilities will shift. With the ubiquity of smartphone apps that handle financial transactions automatically, organizations will need to develop their employees differently to effectively serve a more knowledgeable customer base.