ATLANTA (AP) — The largest bank based in Georgia has joined a national push to upgrade branches, spurred by customers who prefer online banking to waiting in a teller line.
Two SunTrust locations — one already open inside a food court at the bank's Atlanta headquarters and another scheduled to open this summer in the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. —will test customers' response to new technology. Bank officials said they will use that feedback to help determine where and when to roll out the updates at other branches.
The Atlanta location's entryway is anchored by an 80-inch touchscreen and soon to-be-installed video ATM kiosks that let customers make quick deposits or withdrawals and talk to a teller after hours. Against an inside wall, a tablet bar holds Android and Apple products loaded with the SunTrust applications. A back room the size of a small closet contains a robotic safety deposit box system. Customers use their bank card and handprint to receive their box without assistance from a bank employee.
Banks across the country are opening similar branches to combat lower numbers of visits and sales. In Georgia, Brand Bank and United Bank have previously rolled out some of the concepts being tested at SunTrust and nationwide.
"Some of these concepts are not cheap, so we don't want to roll them out too fast until we know the return is going to be there for us and also the client, more importantly, that they really want this," said Tom McDermott, SunTrust's senior vice president of sales and channel management.