BankOnBuffalo has taken the first steps to bring an innovative new banking experience to Western New York, making full-service branch banking accessible to more consumers and small businesses, particularly those in underserved communities.
The bank has submitted applications to the appropriate regulatory agencies* to commission its BankOnWheels mobile branch. The first of its kind operated by any financial institution in Western New York, BankOnWheels is a full-service, yet fully mobile bank branch, which will enable the bank to deliver essential banking services to communities with little or no access to such services today.
Three locations noted in the regulatory submissions that BankOnWheels will serve are:
• Renovation Church at 567 Hertel Ave. in Buffalo;
• Peter Machnica Community Center at 1799 Clinton St. in Buffalo; and
• Doris Jones Community Resource Center at 3001 Ninth St. in Niagara Falls.
Customers will not only be able to sign up for accounts, but they can conduct all regular banking transactions such as making deposits, withdrawals, loan applications, and disbursement receipts.
“We see the need, and we’re eager to get the BankonWheels rolling across our community,” said Michael Noah, BankOnBuffalo president. “Even with the rapid rise of technology that now allows so much banking to be done remotely, research tells us that consumers and business owners still greatly value branches, where they can have face-to-face conversations with a banker - get answers to their questions and the assistance they need with transactions, loan applications and account openings. Yet in some communities, access to this level of personal service is very limited or non-existent. That’s where our BankOnWheels can fill the void.”
BankOnWheels is a 34-foot vehicle that looks very much like a transformed recreational vehicle (RV). It includes a walk-up ATM and two exterior teller windows, where transactions can be performed. Inside, it has most of the features of a “traditional” bank branch – a lobby, an office for private conversations with a BankOnBuffalo associate, and a teller window.
“BankOnWheels will be a full-service bank branch in every sense of the term,” Noah said. “In it, our customers will be able to do everything they can do in any of our other 12 BankOnBuffalo branches.”
Once banking regulatory approvals are received, it is anticipated that the BankOnWheels unit will be operational within a few months. At that point it will begin to be deployed at sites across Western New York, with an emphasis on communities which are currently underserved by other financial institutions. Once established, a schedule detailing where and when the BankOnWheels will be stationed can be published.
began as a start-up division of CNB Bank with a loan origination office, and in February 2017, opened a full-service bank branch on the first floor of the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo. In addition to BankOnWheels, BankOnBuffalo
operates 12 branch offices in Buffalo, Orchard Park, Amherst, Williamsville, Clarence, Clarence Center, Akron, Lancaster, Niagara Falls, and Wilson, as well as a private banking and wealth management solution called 1865 Wealth Advisors.
* Notices were submitted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.