Savannah Receives New ATMS

Savannah is the first city on the East Coast to receive ATMs developed by Wells Fargo that can accept stacks of cash or checks without envelopes and even sell postage stamps around the clock.

“Envelope-Free ATMs will save our customers time and hassle,” said Doug Fuentes, retail community bank president for East Georgia for Wachovia, A Wells Fargo Company. “They don’t need to write on an envelope, do any math, or key-in a deposit amount. The ATM does all the work.”

Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis hailed the move as another step toward making Chatham the “greenest county in Georgia.”

“This is a valuable addition to the efforts of the Chatham Environmental Forum and many others who have been working for years on a number of fronts, including reducing waste,” Liakakis said. “We congratulate Wachovia and Wells Fargo for this step.”

Already, the new ATMs in other parts of the country have saved an estimated 255 tons of paper or the equivalent of 4,284 trees.

The installation of 19 new deposit-taking machines across the Savannah area was scheduled to be completed by yesterday (Sept. 29). In addition, the company put in 10 ATMs with all the upgrades except that, as in the past, these machines dispense cash but don’t take deposits.

The new machines are the most visible sign of the conversion under way as a result of the merger of Wachovia and Wells Fargo late last year.

To take advantage of the new ATMs, customers simply slip a stack of cash – up to 50 bills in different denominations – into the ATM slot and the machine sorts, counts and verifies the amount.

Customers may also deposit a stack of up to 30 checks into the machine and the ATM sorts and reads each check and displays a digital image of the check on the ATM screen and on the receipt. Many other banks require consumers to feed checks into the machine one by one-like vending machines – which can be slow and cumbersome.

“The new machines are a big time saver compared to primitive machines which only take one check at a time,” said Jenny Gentry, Savannah Market President for Wachovia.

She noted that Wells Fargo has just been named the “greenest” bank by Newsweek magazine and that Savannah Magazine named Wachovia as the best bank in Savannah.

Other features of the new ATMs include a “bread crumbs” function that allows customers to backtrack easily to previous steps and make easy changes.

The machines also have a “What You Do Most” feature that displays a customer’s top three transactions in order to go straight to them.

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