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First Global rolling out high-tech, cross-currency ATMs, new branch coming in March

Published:Friday | December 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Courtney Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the GraceKennedy Financial Group and First Global Bank.

Tameka Gordon, Business Reporter

First Global Bank (FGB) will roll out a slate of new technology-driven offerings at its relocated Manor Park branch, which opens Monday.

The bank has taken up space previously vacated by National Commercial Bank, just next door to its former home inside the Hi-Lo supermarket at Manor Park Plaza, a move announced previously amid expansion plans and which is intended to create a more space for its operations at Manor Park.

First Global will "introduce some additional channels to facilitate enhanced convenience," First Global CEO Courtney Campbell told the Financial Gleaner. "We are installing three different types of teller machines," he said.

First Global is introducing an intelligent deposit ATM that will allow customers to have immediate credit to their accounts after making a cash deposit. The other features a multi-currency dispenser ATM that will allow withdrawals in US, Canadian and Jamaican dollars. It will also facilitate cross-currency transactions, Campbell said.

"For example, you can debit your Jamaican dollar account and ask that it be paid in USD. So, basically, you are buying US dollars at the machine," the CEO said, while touting it as a first.

"We don't do that anywhere else in the banking industry," he said of the foray into the realm of technologically driven solutions for the financial house. First Global was also the first to debut in the cross-banking arena through its online banking platform, a service that is slowly catching on with two other retail banks also offering the service since this year.

Remote teller

First Global customers at Manor Park will also have the service of an interactive teller machine, along with the two tellers the bank will retain.

"The technology will mirror the operations of a branch teller. The teller will be in a remote location. So the customers at Manor Park will be able to do transactions speaking to this teller, who is in the remote location," he said.

The idea, he said, is that with the deployment of other such machine in other locations, the same pool of tellers can service the customers across the banks network.

FGB further plans to open its Ocho Rios branch by March 2016, Campbell said, adding that the new offerings will be available there as well.

Peter Lindo, the head of marketing and corporate communications at FGB, said the plan is to filter the technology to the other branches over time, with the Liguanea branch next in line.

On Saturday, the bank will close its Hi-Lo outlet and reopen in its new home next door on the same plaza on Monday, December 14. The size of the Manor Park branch will grow sixfold from 450 square feet to 2,400 square feet, but will be staffed by the same five people, Lindo said.

Both Hi-Lo and First Global are subsidiaries of conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com