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Banking Financial District

Banco Popular to expand envelope-free services at ATMs

The check image deposit process is just as simple as conducting any other ATM transaction.

The check image deposit process is just as simple as conducting any other ATM transaction.

A year after launching “Depósito Fácil” (“Easy Deposit”), a service that allows Banco Popular clients to deposit checks without having to use an envelope or fill out a deposit slip, the financial institution announced Tuesday it will be expanding the number of ATMs enabled to accept those transactions from 10 to 50 by the end of September.

Miguel Páez, first vice president of individual banking for Banco Popular also said ATMs that take envelope-free, slip-free checks will also begin taking cash deposits the same way. Installing new machines or reprogramming existing ones will entail a $2 million investment, this media outlet confirmed.

“After a year, the ATMs that accept check deposits without an envelope have generated more than 60,000 transactions. Furthermore, the branches where those ATMs are located report that between 8 percent and 12 percent of their transactions are done through those ATM machines,” Páez said. “That’s why we’re expanding the service.”

During this second phase of deployment, the bank has selected machines according to the bank’s business volume. Locations in Mayagüez, Ponce, Humacao, the San Juan metro area, Caguas and Arecibo are on the roll-out list, he said.

Banco Popular has a total of 600 ATMs throughout the island. The goal is to have 100 machines ready to accept envelope-free cash and check deposits within 12 months, Páez said.

The check image deposit process is just as simple as conducting any other ATM transaction. Customers must punch in their personal identification number and select “get receipt,” followed by the “deposit check” option. The check is then inserted and the deposit amount is validated.

Through the free service, customers will get a receipt with an image of the deposited check, as evidence of the transaction. Banco Popular processed $16.5 million in deposits via ATMs and at branches over a 12-month period.

Mobile alerts
Meanwhile, bank officials also announced Tuesday the start of a new feature for customers who have downloaded the Banco Popular app to their iPhones or Android devices, who will now be able to receive alerts to their smartphones, email or both.

Through “Mi Banco Alertas,” customers will be able to activate alerts for payments, purchases, transfers, account withdrawals, changes to personal information or changes to their bank accounts, according to a pre-set amount. That way, customers can monitor their accounts 24/7 in real time, said Camille Burckhart, first vice president of Popular technology.

“We launched the app for iPhone in April of last year, and the app for Android the following November. Since then, the apps have been downloaded 575,000 times, so we’re working to continue offering more features,” she said, noting that the bank is currently working on adding the function through which customers can take a photo of the check and deposit it using their mobile device.

Banco Popular will back up its new “time saving” services with a $1.5 million institutional campaign touting both features.

“This campaign communicates a message of productivity and simplicity that is so needed in everyday life. As an institution, we feel a responsibility to provide tools that facilitate transactional processes of our clients to give back those seconds that otherwise would have been lost,” said Mariel Arraiza, Popular’s first vice president of marketing and business intelligence.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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