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Incorporating the Best of In-Branch Systems

Alpharetta, GA (PRWEB) August 10, 2010

Extraco Banks, a $1.2 billion community bank with 15 branches in central Texas, was not satisfied with incorporating new technologies for the sake of change alone. Extraco has taken a quantum leap—incorporating the best of in-branch systems with the latest and best banking technologies to improve the customer lobby experience while creating internal time and cost saving efficiencies.

The following is a Q/A session with Sandra Dixon, EVP of Extraco, who was instrumental in the design, development, and implementation of the enhanced branch banking environment at Extraco.

FMSI/Davis: What was the first step in determining how best to do this?

The first step in redefining our branch model was to analyze and evaluate the branch performance environment. To accomplish this goal, Extraco utilized the Teller Management SystemTM (TMS) provided by Financial Management Solutions, Inc. (FMSI). The monthly TMS reports gave Extraco detailed performance management information for our entire branch network. Over time we utilized the TMS reports to collect and analyze performance trends in critical areas such as transactions per hour. How do you run your business without knowing your numbers? TMS gave us detailed data and performance projections based on our historic branch transaction activity, and was essential to understanding our performance levels, volume fluctuations, and traffic patterns. This critical information helped us redesign staffing, customer service, even our branch hours.

FMSI/Davis: What does this redefined branch look like?

The branch now has Dialogue Banking Towers™ (towers/pods) located throughout the lobby where any customer activity (e.g., service issue, account opening, loan funding, transactional processing) can be handled, creating one-stop shopping for our customers. Next, we modified the traditional teller line— actually cutting through the “sacred” granite counters to create an opening—which allows the RBs the flexibility to move freely throughout the lobby to assist customers. Then we redesigned the lobby flow to create open areas that facilitate conversation with and service to our customers, while reserving traditional office space for confidential or more complex transactions.

We coupled the new towers/pods and modified teller lines with Talaris Vertera™ cash recyclers with dual coin counters interfaced to Jack Henry (JH) Vertex Teller Capture. The cash recyclers accept cash deposits, verifying and authenticating bills before securely storing them, as well as dispense cash so that RBs are free to focus completely on the customers. JH Teller Capture scans and captures checks in real time at the point of presentment and interfaces with the teller platform system to expedite transaction processing.

Last, we added several amenities to make the lobby more customer friendly. RBs use headsets to communicate with each other to ensure lobby traffic is served promptly and efficiently. Educational towers throughout the branch highlight our products and services, while a technology wall lets customers try the latest technological innovations first hand. Specialty coffee, premium snacks, and the latest financial and national news publications are available at our coffee bar and resource wall. And for those self-directed customers who may find themselves in the lobby, we even added video conferencing so they can work direct with our Customer Care Center on their issue.

The best change is the overall atmosphere. While the equipment and design are key elements, it’s the quality of our well-trained staff that makes it work.

See the full conversation by going to the FMSI Blog.

About Extraco Banks

Extraco celebrated 100 years and three generations of family management on July 12th, 2002. Founded as a cotton warehousing company, today Extraco is the largest and most comprehensive independent financial institution headquartered in central Texas. It exceeds $1 billion in assets, serves 153,000 customers in 15 branch locations, participates in hundreds of volunteer community leadership roles, and, most importantly, employs over 400 central Texans. Over the last decade, Extraco has developed a one-stop financial center vision that offers a superior experience to its customers.