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 ket with the M&T acquisition of People’s United, it will really open the door for us to be a bigger part of the community.”
De Maria agreed. “We’ve already created such a solid foundation with our name and then with the physical presence from the acqui- sition we did in Suffield in 2018,” she told BusinessWest. “And now, with our West Hartford presence, I think we have a solid opportu- nity to bring the service we provide for our commercial custom-
ers to our retail-customer world, and really marry those two sides together and make an impact.”
Making Contact
Many visitors to the new branch will first notice the interactive video tellers, one in the entry and one in the drive-thru lanes, bring- ing the bank’s total number of such machines to 22 at 17 locations. Users can call up a live teller in Holyoke who manages four or five
 Even in an age of mobile banking, Aleda De Maria says, people still want face-to-face interaction at branches for many services.
     Proud of where we’re from. Prouder of where we’re going.
 The one thing you’re certain to find in Massachusetts is a sense of pride. In your business, your communities, and the fact that you’re not trying to be like everyone else. At People’s United Bank, we’re dedicated to helping your business – whatever it may be – grow and succeed.
Dedication gets it done. Jaimye Hebert
Massachusetts | 413-735-6533
machines at once.
“That way, we can be open seven days a week and have extend-
ed hours and not have to have people physically in the branch. And the video banker can do almost any transaction,” Bannister said, noting that Peoples is the only bank in the Hartford to offer the service. “Part of our technology story is good, consumer-facing technology.”
“Weareabletodoalotof full-service banking for these commercial real-estate customers because of our cash-management expertise and the different products we have, but without a branch presence, it’s really difficult to do business banking.”
Romika Odedra, vice pres- ident and regional manager, said customers appreciate face time with a live person rather than interacting with a machine and the more lim- ited options available at an ATM. And Bannister added that, with the pandemic still raging, many customers appreciate being able to con- duct complex transactions in a contactless way.
“Video tellers are some- thing we’re proud to bring to the market,” De Maria said. “It brings seven-day-a-week banking to West Hartford and our surrounding areas.”
        Once inside the branch, customers will see pods instead of tra- ditional customer lines — a model Peoples and other banks have been implementing for years. Customers can stand beside the teller and even see what he or she is looking at on the computer screen, if necessary. “In the beginning, people were like, ‘where do I go?’” Odedra said. “But it’s so easy — it’s warm, it’s welcoming, it’s not ‘there’s the line.’ It’s nice to have that one-on-one experience.”
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