Magazine article Independent Banker

Express Bank: Six-Wheel Banking

Magazine article Independent Banker

Express Bank: Six-Wheel Banking

Article excerpt

There is pizza delivery, bookmobiles and doctors who make house calls.

Now another on-the-go service has hit the financial industry: full-service banking on wheels.

Farmers and Mechanics National Bank of Frederick, Maryland, has launched a rolling bank branch to attract and serve more customers.

Called Express Bank, F&M's new 23,000-pound mobile bank travels from location to location handling everything from check cashing to mortgage processing to business and consumer loans.

"It's the same thing as a full-service bank, except it's on wheels," says Richard McGinnis, senior vice president of F&M's retail banking. "It can do everything a traditional neighborhood bank can do."

Wireless telecommunications equipment aboard Express Bank allows customers and tellers to tap into the accounts and financial data in F&M's central computer system. That allows virtually any bank transaction to take place 24 hours a day at the mobile bank branch in the field, McGinnis says.

One of only about a half-dozen mobile banks nationwide, Express Bank has appeared at numerous community fairs, business expos and even minor-league baseball games.

"We can take this anywhere there is a large group of people," he explains. "This continues to portray an image to the community that we are on the leading edge of technology."

An ATM machine built into the vehicle's exterior shell offers customers quick and convenient access to their savings and checking accounts. A teller also is available through a service window or, for face-to-face transactions, inside a handicapped-accessible, air conditioned office.

Due to lack of storage space, the only service the mobile bank cannot provide is a safe deposit box, McGinnis says.

Express Bank looks like an oversized delivery truck. Custom-built from the ground up by Ocala, Florida-based MBF Industries Inc., it features an array of security systems more elaborate than typically found in neighborhood banks, McGinnis relates. …

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