What's your preference?: An exploratory examination of the effect of human vs ATM vs online interactions on overall consumer satisfaction with banking services


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of human interaction versus interactions with technology in overall customer satisfaction with banking services, specifically, tellers versus Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) vs online transactions. All types of interactions are important in services, yet their level of importance is changing as the environment change.

Design/methodology/approach: Two studies were conducted through surveys with students who had a bank checking account; six item measures were used to examine human interaction, interaction with an ATM, interaction with an online banking service and overall satisfaction with the specific bank. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the effects of the interactions on overall satisfaction.

Findings: The findings from the two studies show that while the human encounter was more important before online banking became so prevalent, the convenience of online banking has displaced the importance of human interaction. However, there were gender differences in that males, more than females, remain influenced by teller transactions.

Research limitations/implications: The study utilizes student samples, which could be biased. However, students are also users of banking services so they represent a traditional target market for financial service firms. Practical implications: The results are informative for managers when planning and implementing new online services in the financial industry.

Originality/value: This paper draws together research on interpersonal interactions and technological interactions to examine the effects on overall satisfaction. Given the proliferation of technological advances, understanding how these technologies impact customer satisfaction is vital.



Document Type





Automation, Customer satisfaction, Customer services quality, Social interaction, Virtual banking

Publication Date


Journal Title

Management Research News