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NEFCU to open branch without tellers in Deer Park

Westbury-based NEFCU is expected to open a branch

Westbury-based NEFCU is expected to open a branch by late July with interactive video teller machines, but without tellers in Deer Park. Credit: Newsday / David Reich-Hale

Westbury-based NEFCU is opening a second branch with interactive video teller machines, but without tellers at the location.

The credit union, which opened a branch without tellers in Bay Shore in September, will open another branch just like it in Deer Park, said Valerie Garguilo, vice president for marketing and community relations.

The branch, on Deer Park Avenue in a shopping center that also has a Starbucks and CVS, is expected to open by late July. It will be NEFCU’s 14th branch, all of which are on the Island, and its fourth in Suffolk County.

Garguilo said all future NEFCU branches will operate under the new model. The Bay Shore branch has one standard automated teller machine and two interactive teller machines that can operate as standard ATMs but also let members interact through a video screen with a live teller at NEFCU headquarters.

A member can speak to the remote teller, who can deposit checks and dispense cash and perform other standard teller duties.

Garguilo said NEFCU will convert other branches to the new model, “but that’s long term.”

More banks and credit unions could cut down on tellers because transaction counts are going down at branches, said Alan Thompson, senior managing partner at BSG Solutions Group in San Diego.

“You’re going to continue to see experimentation,” Thompson said. “Some banks have decided to have fewer branches, and other banks have fewer tellers in those branches. Staff counts in branches have been coming down for a while.”

But Thompson said customers want to talk to their local bank or credit union when it comes to more sophisticated products such as mortgages, investment products or retirement accounts.

Staff at the Deer Park NEFCU branch will include representatives who can answer questions and discuss the credit union’s products and services.

Many customers will be quick to catch on to interactive teller machines such as NEFCU’s, said Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with The NPD Group, a Port Washington-based market research company.

“The younger generation is already doing most of their banking with a mobile device or ATM anyway,” Cohen said. “It’s the future playing out as we speak.”

The Deer Park branch will also have a branch manager and an interactive screen that allows customers to get information on NEFCU products.


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