For decades, there have been jokes about artificial intelligence taking over the world, but it’s one thing to joke about it and another thing to witness it in person. From robots taking over restaurant jobs with the first human-free McDonald’s restaurant to, now, a Bank of America branch devoid of all humans — though you have the option to video call with one in an empty room.

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This was the experience TikToker Mel (@mel__in__sd) shared with bewilderment in her viral video, which now has over 263.3k views, as she showed her viewers her experience tapping into the Bank of American location with her card—only to find it devoid of all other people.

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“You get in here, and… no one’s in here, and it has these two little rooms saying ‘Come in to video chat,’” Mel says. “I don’t know if I like living in the future. This is f-cking weird, yeah?”

She wrote in the caption, “This gave me the creeps.”


This style of bank, surprisingly, isn’t a new phenomenon: they have been rolled out by Bank of America since 2017, and not everyone is a fan of them.

One TikToker noted, “No and I don’t like it. would never use it.”

“If I go in the bank, I am there to speak to a person. If I wanted to zoom I would from home,” another person claimed.

A third said, “I agree. I don’t like the future ways. Some fast food places are like this. However, this is safer for employees.”

There were others who were completely on board with teller-less banks. As one TikToker noted, “as an introvert, this totally my kind of bank.”

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Some folks offered suggestions of why the bank did this, from keeping “unhoused people [from sleeping] there” to banks getting shut down in the future and making it so no one can “forcibly get money.”

Mel spoke to the Daily Dot about her experience, saying, “We were doing a workplace pool for lottery tickets this week and I needed to go grab cash to throw in my part. I walked over there expecting a normal mini-branch. But walked in to that and was completely taken aback. I’ve seen and used locked ATM vestibules before where you need your card to open the door. I’d never seen this bizarre virtual branch thing before with the little rooms and the sign acting like you were gonna go in one of those and get a home loan.”

She said of her “eerie” experience that “…I was actually afraid to open the door for one of the rooms in case someone was in there. It just felt spooky for some reason. And the bench there as though people would be coming in and waiting for a room to open up. I was trippin’, and as I left I thought ‘oh, I wanna take a picture of this to show my spouse.’ But as I did, I thought it might be a good quick little TikTok just asking people if this was a thing now. Then what happened, happened.”

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*First Published: January 24, 2023, 6:59 am