COLUMBUS — Lydell Woodbury knows First Nebraska Bank’s customers are hustling, on-the-go people during their daily lives.
That’s why the three-decade fixture at the corner of 23rd Street and 33rd Avenue is rolling out interactive teller machines in mid-September aimed at expanding the bank’s services.
“Our customers are busy,” said Woodbury, president and chief executive officer of the bank at 3225 23rd St. “This is a way for us to meet the needs of our customers.”
The introduction of ITMs, two in the bank’s drive-through lanes and one inside in the lobby, will boost customer access to live interactive teller service. A video component connects local customers to tellers in First Nebraska Bank's Valley location.
“An ITM will allow customers to do almost anything they could do going inside a bank and walking up to a teller line,” Woodbury said.
The interactive tellers will enable customers to conduct up to 95 percent of typical teller transactions, much more than can be done at a traditional ATM, he said.
“ITMs are ATMs on steroids,” Woodbury said while noting that the Columbus location is among the first in the state to get ITMs.
The new technology will provide interactive teller service 12 hours a day, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., five days a week. The service will be offered from 8-11 a.m. on Saturdays.
Jay Trofholz of Columbus, a longtime local owner of First Nebraska, has been watching banking trends for years. He knows financial institutions are seeing rapid changes in technology.
“I think that’s the movement we’re making (in the industry) right now,” Trofholz said.
“Millennials want online banking; they don’t write checks or carry cash. They want quick, easy access, and that’s what we’re giving them,” Trofholz said.
The new ITMs are part of an extensive remodeling of the approximately 6,000-square-foot Columbus location that began in early June.
The building isn’t adding space, but the layout will be reconfigured with banking activities on the west end and administrative offices in the east portion. Columbus is home to the management team for First Nebraska’s 10 locations.
“The remodel will allow us to better utilize the building,” Woodbury said.
A new digital message sign will replace the First Nebraska Bank sign that has invited customers inside for years.
Woodbury views the expanded teller services and building remodel as another way to continue First Nebraska’s longtime model of helping grow and support local communities and the surrounding area.
“We’ve accomplished this by helping our personal and commercial banking customers buy or build new homes, start and expand their businesses and keep their farms operating through trying times,” Woodbury said.
“Because we’re locally owned,” he said, “we’re invested in our customers and our communities.”
Woodbury said the current project is a “significant investment," but didn't release a figure for the costs.
First Nebraska Bank has 10 locations throughout central and eastern Nebraska, including Columbus, Valley, Arcadia, Bennet, Brainard, Decatur, Emerson, Nebraska City, Stanton and Weeping Water.
The banking group currently has ITMs in Valley and Arcadia, with the addition of Columbus in September and Bennet in October. The rest of First Nebraska’s locations will get the interactive tellers in 2018.