909 SE Bay Boulevard
PO BOX 2280
Newport, OR 97365
Looking for Change? Visit a Bank
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 7, 2011
Contact: Fred Postlewait
Oregon Coast Bank
Newport, OR – Walk into a local bank and change is everywhere, and we’re not talking about quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Many traditional banking services have become obsolete or even extinct, while a host of new technologies have dramatically altered how bankers do business and how customers interact with their accounts.
A few months ago, Fred Postlewait, President and CEO of Oregon Coast Bank, thought it might be interesting to make a list of the changes that were occurring, and he asked his staff to participate. Even his initial communication with other Oregon Coast Bank employees, which was instantly distributed by email, was different. Forty plus years ago, when Postlewait first became a banker, he or his secretary would have manually typed the message using stacks of carbon paper to make multiple copies. Distribution to the bank’s other offices would have been by messenger or the postal service.
The following are just a few examples of the changes in banking noted by Oregon Coast Bank staff members. Things that had become obsolete or disappeared altogether included check float, savings account passbooks, bearer bonds & interest coupons, collection letters, travelers checks, check guarantee cards, filing & returning original customer checks, proof machines, cutoff times, post dated checks, site drafts and signature machines.
The list of what is new included a wide array of secure and convenient banking procedures, services and products such as travel cards, electronic bill pay, payroll cards, merchant check capture, real time ATM transactions, prepaid gift cards, mobile banking, online banking, online person-to-person payments, online account opening, e-statements, imaged checks, virtual safe deposit, check scanners and online bank accounts that interface with personal and business accounting software.
Also on the list were a number of other new banking technologies that might require articles in their own right to explain, which is exactly the challenge that today’s bankers face. “As easy to use as most of our new banking technologies are, we have to understand that people are wary of change,” explains Postlewait. “It’s not good enough to just be a banker anymore – it’s also our job to be technology teachers so we can help our customers navigate the new world of finance.”
Recently Oregon Coast Bank purchased state-of-the-art iPads for all of its employees so they can easily demonstrate online transactions for their customers. “Of course if you can do a transaction on an iPad, you can do the same thing on a computer or any internet-enabled cellular phone,” points out Postlewait. “When customers realize they can do their banking at any time from anywhere, they become very enthusiastic about the new technology. We’ll always be here to help them in person, but it quickly becomes evident how electronic banking can simplify their lives.”
Are the changes slowing down? “Not at all,” commented Postlewait. “The entire banking industry continues to evolve at a very rapid pace. Technology is a good thing, as long as it makes banking easier, more secure and more convenient for the average customer. It’s our job as a community bank to continue to stay at the forefront of new technology and be able to teach it to our customers on a face-to-face basis.”