Two metro Atlanta banking companies, one established and the other fairly new to the market, are unveiling new concepts this week to attract more customers.
Well-established Wells Fargo has opened its first in-store locations in three Kroger grocery sites. PNC, meanwhile, which entered the metro Atlanta banking market last year, opened its first mobile branch at Atlantic Station on Tuesday.
Christopher Marinac, a banking research analyst at FIG Partners LLC, said Wells Fargo, PNC and other banks, including community banks, have to position themselves to be more competitive. Eventually interest rates will rise and customers will demand more for their deposits or look elsewhere for better deals and experiences.
“Deposit growth has been very strong in the last couple of years because interest rates are very low, so the banks have enjoyed really good deposits,” Marinac said Tuesday. In the next several years, “deposits may not be as liquid and free as they have been. Banks have to position themselves with [improved] relationships ahead of that shift.”
Wells Fargo is joining SunTrust, Best Bank, Bank of America and others which already have locations in high-traffic grocery stores.
“We want to be close to where people in Atlanta live, work and shop, and this affirms our commitment to a network where we can meet all our customers’ financial needs face to face,” said Atlanta Region President Mike Donnelly said in announcing the new Kroger branches.
Two of the new Wells Fargo locations will be in Gwinnett County: in Lawrenceville at 1475 Buford Drive and in Dacula at 505 Dacula Road. Another will be located in Newnan in Coweta County at 3150 Highway 34. The branches will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The branches together will employ 26 staffers, Wells Fargo said
PNC’s “pop-up” branch at Atlantic Station will be a break from its traditional locations. Gone are teller windows and bank staff in cubicles.
PNC’s all-digital mobile branch, located at West District Avenue 264 19th Street NW, is also designed to be a convenience in high-traffic pedestrian areas, but it won’t be permanent. It will remain open through mid-November.
The mini-branch, at only 20-by-8 feet, is much smaller than existing locations. It will feature advanced ATMs with interactive large screen displays. Two financial consultants will help with new accounts, personal loans and other services.
The PNC mobile branch will be open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.