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No tellers. No drive-through windows. No vault. The future is now for this bank

The first thing a visitor to PNC Bank’s new Fort Worth location might notice is just how few elements of a traditional bank are within its brightly-lit confines.

There are no tellers, no drive-through windows and no vaults.

Instead, a handful of advisors (usually four on duty at a time) greet customers in a 2,500-square-foot storefront decorated with cheerfully-orange paint.

At the entrance to the new PNC Bank location at West Seventh Street and Currie Street (across the road from In-N-Out Burger), visitors are greeted by a larger-than-normal ATM. The employees privately say it’s “like an ATM on steroids,” because it dispenses $1, $10, $20 and $50 bills (no $5s, though) and can accept not only withdrawals but also deposits of up to $999,999.

Also, there are also lots of video boards, touch screens and kitchen-style tables and glass-walled meeting spaces where documents for mortgages, loans and other transactions can be signed.

Like other retailers, banks are changing their physical structures to match customers’ changing habits. Put another way: banks are no longer a place where the primary purpose is storing money.

“We’re trying to strike a balance with the type of retail center our clients want, and the type of technology they want to use,” said Brendan McGuire, PNC regional president and head of corporate banking.

Other banks are rethinking their branch spaces as well. Earlier this year, Chase announced a major expansion in several U.S. markets featuring new locations with modern designs and spaces for “Chase Chats” — which are get-togethers where employees and prospective customers talk about financial health.

PNC plans to have similar gatherings, and also will encourage its employees to frequent community social events and luncheons to spread the word about the company’s offerings.

The Fort Worth branch is the second Metroplex location for PNC, which is one of the nation’s largest financial services companies but relatively new to North Texas.

The company’s first storefront-style bank opened in Plano about three months ago. PNC plans to open as many as 15 other locations throughout the region over the next few years, including a location in Southlake as well as Dallas.

All of the new locations will feature similarly modern designs.

Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.
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