Do Tickets Reduce Bank Queues?

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.


Take a number and wait.

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.

3 thoughts on “Do Tickets Reduce Bank Queues?

  1. Eric Gitonga

    I wish, instead of having different number sets for different services, they just had one continuous number set for everything. First come, first serve, regardless of what services you are going in for. That way, at least you know if my ticket reads 1032, and the one being served is 1028, I know I am 4 people away from being served. But with different systems, it is hard to know how many people away you are from your turn!

    1. bankelele

      It’s sometimes possible to decipher the system, but there’s no reason for a bank to added a math quiz (how long will it take you to be served?) to an already stressed customer. I also wonder if there are some customers who figure out which transaction queue seems to be processed fastest, and they use those tickets even if their transactions are completely unrelated

      1. Beth

        That math quiz; your ticket says waiting time =1 minute, then you end up waiting for 30 minutes and have to go to the guard to ask when and where your series is being called. He then tells you to pick one for the teller service, which states waiting time=20 minutes. Whenever I can, I opt to go to the bank after 5pm.

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