You may have asked yourself recently why some of the locations, products, or services of your bank have either changed or gone away completely. This can sometimes force you into learning new behaviors that can be both puzzling and frustrating. With technology constantly improving, many banks are looking for ways to do more with less. The goal is to “teach” the customer how to utilize alternative avenues to gain access to financial products and services rather than visit their local branch and speak with a person.

Many banks are eliminating or reducing the number of brick and mortar branch locations if they feel there is too much internal overlap or a community doesn’t fit into their business plan anymore. Others are reducing the number of employees inside the branches and encouraging customers to use an ATM, the telephone, or the internet to process their transactions. Another recent trend is the elimination of Drive Through service, which can assist in cutting down both personnel overhead and hours of operation.

While we all enjoy the benefits of improved technology in our everyday lives and some customers rarely visit their local bank branch, there are still people who value personal interaction and service and institutions willing to provide it to them. Community banks are constantly working hard to make sure we provide the ”bells and whistles” for those customers who prefer to use the latest technology while still making sure our customers are treated properly if they come into one of our offices.

It’s great to see how technology has improved the way we do things every day and it has in many ways helped advance the product and service offerings we now have in the Banking business. However, at the end of the day it should be your choice as a consumer how you order up your banking services. Personal Service still exists in the banking world. If you’re not receiving it with your current bank, I recommend you look at a Community Bank as an alternative.