This is an example why Europe is ahead of the US in using tech for Financial services. In Northern Europe Branches and FTE in retail banking have dropped with 30-50%... whereas in the US in fact the number of bank teller jobs did not decrease as the ATMs were rolled out (see Chart 1). Instead, two factors combined to preserve teller jobs.First, ATMs increased the demand for tellers because they reduced the cost of operating a bank branch. Thanks to the ATM, the number of tellers required to operate a branch office in the average urban market fell from 20 to 13 between 1988 and 2004. But banks responded by opening more branches to compete for greater market share. Bank branches in urban areas increased 43 percent. Fewer tellers were required for each branch, but more branches meant that teller jobs did not disappear.
Not likely. Just because computers can perform some job tasks does not mean that jobs will be eliminated. Consider bank tellers. Automated teller machines (ATMs) were first installed in the United States and other developed economies in the 1970s. These machines handle some of the most common tasks bank tellers performed, such as dispensing cash and taking deposits. Starting in the mid-1990s, banks rapidly increased their use of ATMs; over 400,000 are installed in the United States alone today. One might expect such automation to decimate the ranks of bank tellers, but in fact the number of bank teller jobs did not decrease as the ATMs were rolled out (see Chart 1). Instead, two factors combined to preserve teller jobs. First, ATMs increased the demand for tellers because they reduced the cost of operating a bank branch.