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Banking in the new era
CIBC in Fort Simpson gets automated banking machine

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, November 21, 2013

LIIDLII KUE/FORT SIMPSON
CIBC customers in Fort Simpson now have 24-hour access to their funds.

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Courtney Squirrel, the CIBC branch manager in Fort Simpson, stands beside the newly installed automated banking machine that customers began using on Nov. 6. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

An automated banking machine (ABM) was installed in the CIBC branch in the village at the end of October. The machine, the first of its kind at the branch, was opened to customers on Nov. 6.

"It adds a little bit more of a modern flair to the bank," said Courtney Squirrel, the branch manager.

There has been a long-standing demand by customers for an ABM, with many people questioning why the branch didn't have one already and when one would be installed, Squirrel said. When people saw the machine, located just inside the entrance to the branch, common remarks included, "oh it's about time," and "finally, that's nice to see," she said.

The ABM can be used to withdraw and deposit funds, change PIN numbers on CIBC debit cards and credit cards and set CIBC telephone banking passwords.

"It's really the small things we've been excited about," Squirrel said about the staff's reaction.

Prior to receiving the machine, staff couldn't reset PINs at the branch. If someone had forgotten their PIN or entered the wrong PIN too many times the card had to be canceled and a new one ordered. To set telephone banking passwords the staff had to phone the service, a call that could last several minutes, she said.

Although many of the bank's customers are already familiar with ABM's, having used them elsewhere, the staff have been demonstrating to some people what the machine can and can't do, said Squirrel.

Integrating the new technology into the branch hasn't gone completely smoothly. The ABM has had some technical issues, which are expected to be fixed shortly. Once the machine is working consistently, Squirrel said she expects customers to use it regularly, especially for small transactions. There will, however, always be some clients who prefer interacting with the branch staff, she said.

Once a technician has fixed the ABM, the service will be available constantly. The bank's external doors will remain unlocked so customers can reach the machine, Squirrel said.

The bank also plans to replace the popular bulletin board for local announcements that was removed during the installation of the ABM.

With the ABM available, Squirrel is cautioning customers to protect themselves and their money by always keeping their PIN number confidential. People should also remove their receipts and statements once they are finished at the ABM, because they contain their bank balance, she said.

Geoff Dillon, a senior director of communications and public affairs with CIBC, said the company is pleased to be offering ABM services at the branch.

"We're aware that there's been a demand from clients there and there's been an interest," Dillon said.

"We're always trying to bring added access to our clients so they have access to their accounts more often."

CIBC customers who use CIBC ABMs don't incur additional fees, which is important to them, he said.

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