"DRIVE-thru" banking could arrive in UK next year as major banks are in talks to replace local branches with high-tech virtual banks with video tellers.
Once introduced banking customers would be able to open a bank account, ask for an overdraft, or even apply for a mortgage from the comfort of their own vehicle.
Financial technology NCR told the Daily Telegraph it is holding discussions with big banks which are considering installing advanced "bank in a box" ATM machines, as well as drive-thru banking as early as 2018.
Drive-thru banks already exist in France, Germany and the US where they are relatively commonplace.
Local bank branches in the UK are closing at a rapid rate with 2017 set to be a record year in terms of the number of branches closing. Over the past two years, 1,046 branches have been shut across the country.
The hope is that they could be replaced by hi-tech replacement technology which offer the same services to customers but can be run more cheaply.
NCR's "bank in a box" stations allow customers to swipe, pinch and zoom in on a colourful 19-inch screen, just like on a tablet.
They also have a video banking option to allow people to talk to bank staff. Around 80pc of transactions typically completed inside a physical branch can be completed through a video teller at an ATM, it said.
But fears are growing that the loss of physical face-to-face banking facilities is leaving millions of elderly and vulnerable people without access to banking services.
A spokeswoman at NCR claimed its banking stations were "elderly friendly" as they allowed custome rs to pinch the screen to make text larger and easier to read.
A trial carried out in Switzerland received large positive feedback from pensioner-age customers, she said.
A spokesman at the British Banking Association, which represents banks, said: “Banks are always looking for new ways to making banking services more convenient for customers.
"However technology is not for everyone and it’s important to make sure that no-one gets left behind which is why innovation and the adoption of new technologies are driven by customer demand and how this fits with individual banks’ business models.”