FCBank branch near Grandview, Upper Arlington offers enhanced teller machine

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
FCBank customers can access an enhanced teller machine, or ETM, through the drive-thru lanes at the branch at 1669 Fifth Ave. near Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington. The machines offer video interaction with an FCBank agent who is working from a call center in Bucyrus.

The FCBank branch that opened recently at 1669 Fifth Ave. near Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington has a drive-thru feature that is common to most bank locations.

But customers will find something different when they pull up.

Instead of a traditional ATM, customers will be able to access an ETM – enhanced teller machine – through the drive-thru lanes.

The machines offer video interaction with an FCBank agent who is working from a call center in Bucyrus.

The branch is one of the first banks in the central Ohio region to offer an ETM, said FCBank president Jenny Saunders.

"The advantage for the customer is that it offers all the convenience of an ATM and drive-thru while also providing a personal touch," she said.

One side of the ETM allows customers to conduct their banking business using their card, as with a traditional ATM, said Claire DaPolito, ETM Department manager for CNB Bank, the parent company of FCBank.

"On the other side, you can choose to speak with one of our ETM agents in Bucyrus," DaPolito said. "They'll pop up on the screen, and you'll see them face-to-face."

ETMs provide about 80% of all banking services via the screen, she said.

"You can make cash deposits, deposit up to 150 checks, withdraw money, make a credit-card payment and make transfers between accounts," DaPolito said. "About the only thing you can't do via the ETM is apply for a loan or open a new account. For that, you still need to come into a branch building."

The Fifth Avenue branch also offers a walk-up ETM near the entrance to the building, she said.

"I think one of the big advantages of the drive-thru machines is that they allow you to see the agent you're talking to. It's not just some disembodied voice," Saunders said. "When you go through a traditional drive-thru lane, you might be located three or four lanes away from the agent's window. You really can't see them, and they can't see you."

Although they are in Bucyrus, the ETM screens allow bank agents to connect to the customers, DaPolito said.

"They get to know the customers by face and by name," she said. "They even get to recognize their cars – 'Hey, I see you've got a new car.'

"It's something that both our agents and customers are embracing," DaPolito said.

Although the ETM for the Fifth Avenue branch was planned before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, an added benefit of the machine is that it allows for a safe, socially distant approach to banking while still keeping the human connection, Saunders said.

The Fifth Avenue branch serves the Grandview, Upper Arlington and Marble Cliff communities.

FCBank was forced to find a new location after it learned its previous branch building in Upper Arlington, at Riverside Drive and Fishinger Road, was slated to be torn down for a proposed redevelopment of the Golden Bear Shopping Center site, Saunders said.

FCBank has seven full-service offices in Bucyrus, Cardington, Dublin, Fredericktown, Grandview, Shiloh and Worthington.  

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman