Bank of America is bringing live video conferencing to its ATMs, a move it says will allow customers to speak with tellers beyond normal business hours and conduct advanced transactions normally not possible from the cash machines. ATMs with Teller Assist will be installed at banking centers (both inside and via drive-thru) and at remote ATM locations. On weekdays, tellers will be available for chat from 7AM to 10PM — a significant extra chunk of time compared to BoA's typical banking hours. On weekends, they'll run from 8AM to 5PM.
As for what benefits speaking to an actual human gets you, you'll be able to cash checks for their exact value (with change, even). Better still, customers will no longer be shackled to denominations of $20 when withdrawing money; here you can take out cash in $1 increments if you so choose. Those will be the main differences at launch, though Bank of America also plans to roll out support for cash back with check deposits, dividing a deposit between accounts, and making loan and / or credit card payments. Rolling out the new ATMs is going to take some time, however; the program is launching in Boston this month and will continue to expand across the US throughout 2013.