Quite a few banks have invested in ticket systems to ease queues at their branches. So customers walk in, select what transaction they wish to perform on a ticket machines, receive a ticket, and wait for their number to be called up after which they go to an indicated teller to have their transaction done.
Many of the tickets indicate your place in the queue, and how long you can expect to wait to be served. But I have issued with the system. While they work well at some bank branches, they seem to make things slower at other.
They may work in some bank branches, but in others they are just superfluous cases of copy cat purchases to keep up with the rival bank across the road.
This is noticeable in the middle of the month when there are relatively fewer customers in the bank, but you often find a high number of them wait longer than usual for their numbers to be called up.
Some observed problems with the systems:
- The ticket numbers are random, so customers often wonder why their sequence of numbers are not being served. Their solution is to go back and punch for a different transactions
- Some customers pick many tickets or tap the machine several times.
- Some preferred transaction are not on the menu of choices to select, or there are customers who wish to do multiple transactions.
- There are queue jumpers. Two variants of these are (1) bank managers who punch the ‘handicapped button’ on the machines to pull tickets for their preferred customers (2) security guards pull and hold tickets which they discretely hand to regular customers (and for which they might get a tip).
- They depend on the goodwill of bank staff, but there are are bank tellers who simply don’t call up customers – You can see them sitting, and doing other things, while their number above their heads, does not change for long periods of time.
One solution is for the machines to evolves into smarter devices where customers can actually transact themselves, instead of getting tickets to form other queues in the bank. There are now more self-service stations or tablet devices at some bank branches, some just for marketing products, but going forward, they will be the devices that will really reduce queues at the bank halls.