Magazine article American Banker

Simple System Simplifies Life at Ark. Store Branch

Magazine article American Banker

Simple System Simplifies Life at Ark. Store Branch

Article excerpt

First Arkansas Bank and Trust has moved the ubiquitous drive-through teller window inside.

In a move to serve more customers with fewer tellers, First Arkansas has set up two walk-up banking units to support its branch in the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Jacksonville, Ark.

The units use technology from Diebold Inc. to funnel transaction documents and funds back and forth from customer to teller.

Larry T. Wilson, president and chief executive officer of $205 million-asset First Arkansas, said the Diebold technology replicates the advantages of drive-through banking by letting one teller process transactions for two customers at a time.

"We wanted to accommodate transactions, but also use less personnel," Mr. Wilson said. "It cuts down on waiting time, and the money is still behind locked doors."

Diebold's Remote Teller System, developed in 1996, is really just a tweaking of the old-fashioned pneumatic tube system.

Seeking to develop an in-store banking system with real-time customer service, Diebold, an automated teller machine manufacturer in Canton, Ohio, realized it had been neglecting pneumatic technology. While a system of pipes through which objects travel by the flow and pressure of air seemed quaint, Diebold remembered that drive-through banking still relies on pneumatic tubes.

The Diebold system uses closed-circuit cameras instead of windows. As with any household appliance seemingly from "The Jetsons," the customer simply walks up to the module and speaks through the screen. …

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