The Lake City Bank Story
Indiana-based bank improves customer experience with technology investment. Since Lake City Bank installed several ARCA cash recyclers:
- Transaction count has doubled while vault trips have declined
- Physical cash drawers are gone along with dual control worries
- Tellers have been freed from counting cash and have been able to better the customer experience
Lake City Bank was seeing a decline in transactions at their Goshen branch and they needed to make some bold moves to turn things around. Their action plan included relocating to a more customer friendly location and upgrading to cash automation technology.
Located in several idyllic towns throughout the state of Indiana, Lake City Bank was built on the foundation of providing good customer service while supporting community businesses and organizations. From its first location next to Wynant’s Drug Store in Warsaw to more than 45 branch locations today, Lake City Bank’s long-standing community-oriented focus has propelled the financial institution forward.
“We do a lot of small business banking as well as service a lot of the locally-owned businesses around here. We do a lot of check cashing. I think we have a good mix of all three: the small businesses, larger corporations, and the personal accounts as well,” said Angie Daly, Branch Manager at the downtown Goshen office.
Sounds like your typical branch, right? It’s true—but there’s a catch. Despite the long history in Goshen and a strong customer base, the Goshen downtown branch was slow … and seemed to be getting slower by the day.
A slow branch and declining transactions.
Despite being positioned on Main Street in downtown Goshen, Lake City Bank was struggling to entice customers to visit their branch. There were several challenges.
“We didn’t have a drive-thru. We didn’t have a lot of parking and so we weren’t as busy,” said Naldia Frye, teller at Lake City Bank. “But what we mostly had were large deposits from businesses, so those took quite a lot [of time]. They’d drop them off, but it was a lot of work as far as counting them, and then we’d have to strap them, and sell them, and double verify them, and then put them in the vault.”
Even though Lake City Bank was customer oriented and the staff was eager for face-to-face interaction with their clients, they simply weren’t able to deliver it. Instead, they were face down, counting large amounts of cash.
“We know our clients very well. We know them personally. Our kids go to school with their kids […] it means a lot to us, and a lot to them, for us to visit with them for a few minutes. Maybe there’s an issue that they’re having, their debit card isn’t working or something’s happening,” said Angie Daly, branch manager. “We would be counting their cash and [as you know] it’s kind of hard to do two things at once. So, OK, let me get this cash counted and then we’ll deal with that problem.”
Lake City Bank’s current cash counting process was interrupting the tellers’ ability to interact and engage. They couldn’t wholly listen to them, they couldn’t respond right away, and most importantly, they couldn’t promote additional bank services like mortgage lending and car loans.
In order to change things around, a bold move was needed.
“Since the cash recyclers have been implemented, I have seen a consistent increase in our referrals because now the tellers actually have the time to focus on the member.”
Kevin Deardorff, Executive Vice President
ARCA cash recyclers to increase customer.
Eventually, the leadership team at Lake City Bank opted for that bold move—and a bonus one.
To start, the branch was relocated. Just three blocks away from the former branch location, the new Third Street office offered features they previously couldn’t.
“We have since moved to a better location where we have new technology. We have parking. We have a drive-thru. We have an ATM. We’ve actually doubled our transaction count,” said Angie Daly.
Lake City Bank also invested in six ARCA cash recyclers. ARCA’s line of CM18 Teller Cash Recyclers automates the cash counting process, creating more time with the customer. In addition, the CM18 eliminates multiple trips to the vault since it acts as a fully certified safe.
The six ARCA CM18’s that Lake City Bank purchased were life changing—and exactly what the branch needed to turn things around.
“The transactions go much quicker now instead of having to physically count each and every bill,” said Anita Huff, teller and backup CSR at Lake City Bank. “I’m able to actually look at the customer and, face-to-face, have some communication and talk to them a bit more. It makes it easier to have that one-on-one interaction versus, ‘OK, I’m listening to you but I’m focusing on this over here so I can’t really have that communication.’”
ARCA cash recyclers not only increase face-to-face time with customers, but they help alleviate some back office problems. For Lake City Bank, the ROI was noticed through how efficient all facets of the bank’s activities suddenly became.
“It utilizes the teller’s time more efficiently from a standpoint that it frees them up to have more in-depth conversations with the client. They’re not focused on counting the cash. That’s probably the greatest positive,” said Kevin Deardorff, Executive Vice President and Retail Banking Manager at Lake City Bank. “We see benefits from fewer offages … it makes the office much more secure by having the cash recycler as a self-contained vault like it is. It saves a lot of trips back and forth to the main vault, which is a big security issue, especially during open hours.”
Bottom line: Installing several ARCA cash recyclers helped increase customer engagement at Lake City Bank—so much so that their transactions nearly doubled.