"The number of transactions performed in branches nationwide has been decreasing for years and will continue to do so, due to technology advances."
By Rhonda Miller PBN Staff Writer
Robert E. Maddock is executive vice president for community banking at BankNewport. He is responsible for delivering high-quality service and sales throughout the bank’s branch network, including the call center and direct banking area. He oversees marketing, information technology and deposit operations, as well as serving as the bank’s planning officer.
Maddock is a past chairman of the board of Child & Family, a past board member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and a board member of the Touro Synagogue Foundation. He has served as treasurer of the Newport Art Museum and is an alumnus of Leadership Rhode Island.
He has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University.
BankNewport has scheduled a Sept. 16 groundbreaking for a new branch with design elements reflecting changes in technology and customer banking preferences.
PBN: Can you describe the design of the new branch at the Shops at Quonset Point in North Kingstown and how it may be different from BankNewport’s other branches?
MADDOCK: The branch itself will be smaller than most of our existing branches, though we will still be able to provide all of the services customers need and expect. We will incorporate more technology using iPads, cash recyclers and “smart” ATMs to better serve customers and to process transactions efficiently. This will be BankNewport’s first branch without a traditional teller line. Customers will experience more “concierge-like” banking with a one-on-one focus. The interior will also feature a demonstration and education area for online services, as well as a meeting room that will be available for use by business customers during banking hours.
PBN: What is the major reason for these changes? Is it related to cost, function, customer demand or technological advances?
MADDOCK: I think advances in technology are driving customer behavior. ATMs, for example, which for years were basically used to make cash withdrawals, can now accept cash and check deposits without envelopes, eliminating the need to wait for a teller during normal banking hours. Some newer units can be equipped to provide remote teller services via video banking, providing human interaction when the branch is not open. I think the tipping point though, is mobile banking, which allows customers to perform transactions on their cell phones anytime, anywhere they choose. It’s all about convenience and ease of use for routine transactions.
PBN: What kind of trends are you seeing in banking, from the perspective of the banking industry, as well as customers? How is BankNewport adapting to those trends?
MADDOCK: The number of transactions performed in branches nationwide has been decreasing for years and will continue to do so, due to technology advances. You will see more banks building smaller branches staffed by fewer employees. I think it’s vitally important, however, to recognize that while the number of branch transactions will decrease, the importance of those done in the branch will increase. Therefore, it will be essential to staff these branches with employees who are both comfortable with technology and knowledgeable enough to engage customers in meaningful conversations about needs, problem solving and opportunities. This is where we believe BankNewport can outperform other financial institutions.
PBN: When will BankNewport open the new branch at the Shops at Quonset Point?
MADDOCK: The branch, which is our 13th, is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2014. The location, just off of Post Road, is positioned to support our existing branch located at Route 4 and Route 102, on the western side of North Kingstown, as well as our newest branch located on Division Street in East Greenwich Square. This will be BankNewport’s fourth branch in the west bay area.
PBN: Are there any other reasons why you chose this location for an additional branch?
REM: Yes, the Quonset Business Park is an important asset for the state and we want to be part of it. In fact, we have several customers who are located in the business park. We believe the future plans for the Gateway district offer great potential to attract new businesses to the park. A good example is the recent announcement of the opening of the Gateway Offices to provide affordable, flexible, state-of-the-art space for small businesses and entrepreneurs.