Banks face challenges with new technology - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Banks face challenges with new technology

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - JP Morgan Chase announced it will cut 5,000 jobs over the next year because more customers are doing everyday banking transactions online through their smart phones.

So, could this signal a larger change in the banking industry?

Fewer workers needed at the banks and more needed to help online services?

To stay in the game, more local banks are going digital with their own apps.

One bank admits it takes away from person-to-person interaction, but it's the only way to stay competitive.

Forget going through the drive through of a bank, Amanda Kight can transfer money right from her phone.

"I don't have to go to the bank. If I am sitting at home and it's 9 o'clock I can just transfer money right there,” said Kight.

Capaha Bank caters to thousands of customers like Kight without any of them having to step foot inside their branch.

"I would say that 85 or 95 percent of those things can be done by the phone these days,” said Senior Vice President of Capaha Bank Kevin Essner.

It's a trend many banks use today, even at a local level.

But with less face-to-face interaction, Essner knows changes need to be made to keep people staffed.

"I requires some retraining, maybe people learn some skills that they are not experts at. But we are finding it easier and easier because the mobile products are easy to use and that is why they are being widely accepted and our staff uses them as well,” he said.

Essner says the number of people who use their app will only increase, so they'll need to adapt in order to stay competitive with other banks.

"What we plan to do and hope to be able to do is to be able to serve more customers without having to add as many jobs,” he said.

"I came from a bank that didn't have anything at all. So, coming from there to one that has an app that you can get anywhere and allows you to transfer money back and forth and pay your bills online has been tremendous,” said Kight.

Four out of five U.S. households with Internet access now bank online that's roughly 72 million households.

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