Bank shots

griffin.jpgThis blog is in honor of Delaware Trust Company, for which I worked for a few years.  It was a very good company and was subsumed by Meridian Bancorp, which was almost as good, although bigger and less personal.  The history after that is not so peachy.  One has to look a long time to find a valid reference to DTC now — a real shame.  Vive Delaware Trust!  (A friend who worked with me there mayjackporter not feel free to chime in here since he now works for another bank.)  The company’s logo-griffin (mythological keeper of treasure) seems to be lost in pre-interweb history, but I found an old document in my files.  Here also is a picture of the last DTC president — a respectable, respected man named Jack Porter.

I thought our last bank in NY was pretty good – almost up with technology, very friendly and possessing a nice, “personal touch.”  We haven’t closed all accounts there, because we learned and came to appreciate Community Bank’s systems as well as their demeanor as a local company.

A great, new service is offered by our new bank.  Since we’ve lived in relatively unpopulated areas for the last few years, it shocked me that this service was even possible.  (Those of you who live in metropolitan areas and/or in technologically savvy corridors may snicker when I tell you what I’m so impressed with, but I think it’s pretty cool.)

We get to deposit checks through our smartphones.

No traveling to the bank or ATM and standing in line!  (In fact, they don’t even allow deposits at ATMs.)  All I do is log onto the software app, enter the amount, snap pics of the front and endorsed back of check, and upload.

After the initial jubilation was subsiding when the technology worked, I thought a bit about the thought behind it.  I mean, I’m pretty cynical about businesses, and I thought this might end up being a smokescreen, proving problematic, or having a “catch” to it.  “Aside” alert. . . .

Take the electric power industry, for example.  Putting in wind turbines may or may not be a great idea in terms of economy, but asking me to pay more for your company’s technology is definitely a bad idea.  I don’t know if this is common or not, but the power company we had in New York actually had the gall to ask for donations to help them defray the wind power startup costs.  Imagine this:  someone paying a power bill and, out of the goodness of my individual taxed-to-death soul, dropping RG&E another $5 because they didn’t plan ahead and they want more ROI for their stockholders this quarter.  Ridiculous.  If wind power is really going to be economical and environmentally helpful, your company should have the foresight and capital reserves to build the turbines without asking your customers to foot the bill.

Rant over.
Back to “rutabaga” (which, if you don’t know, is a surprisingly useful and decent-tasting vegetable . . . and the term is used on this blog to typify surprising positives in life).

While wind power appears dubious in some settings, given that some turbines barely ever turn, and the utility companies try to offset their costs with customer contributions, Kleberg Bank’s development of mobile deposit technology is a win-win.  In the long run, they pay less in teller salaries, and there is less wear & tear on ATMs.  I have the ease of depositing when I want, where I want.  Yes, the bank is effectively offloading the work of imaging checks from their hardware to my smartphone, but that use of my machine and data service is more than made up for since I don’t have to drive to the bank or stand in line.  The process takes maybe 90 seconds.

Way to go, bank.  Good shot.

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