New Florence Bank location to open on Pleasant Street in Northampton

  • Florence Bank President John Heaps and Monica Curhan, marketing director. Florence Bank expects to open a third branch location in Northampton in January near the Conz Street roundabout. Gazette File Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/28/2017 10:29:05 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A new Florence Bank branch is set to open in January on the Pleasant Street roundabout, where bank officials hope to take advantage of the location’s high visibility.

“We’re still deciding how to best use the space, it’s very small,” Florence Bank President John Heaps said.

The small building could be part of the reason why United Bank left the location three years ago, Heaps said. However, the high-traffic roundabout where Pleasant Street, Conz Street and Mount Tom Road converge provides an opportunity to advertise Florence Bank as a local staple.

“To me, that is the gateway to our city,” Heaps said. “The fact that we can say ‘Welcome to Northampton, this is Florence Bank,’ is worth everything to us.”

The new location at 491 Pleasant St., which is expected to open Jan. 16, will feature a “smart” ATM and a drive-up service window. Until the bank decides whether they will hire any additional staff, Heaps says the “smart” ATM can do most things a full-service branch can do like cash checks, make deposits, check balances and pay bills. The machines do not require envelopes or any calculations by the customer to make deposits.

“It’s a perfect location for us. The visibility is great,” Heaps said.

Florence Bank currently has two full-service staffed locations in Northampton — one on Main Street with no drive-up ATM, and another King Street with a drive-up ATM. The bank also has several stand-alone ATMs in the city.

Florence Bank has 10 locations throughout western Massachusetts and recently opened a new location in West Springfield.

A rise in mobile and online banking means fewer people are visiting physical branches, causing a 25 percent decline in visits over the last eight years, according to Heaps. Customers don’t even have to visit a Florence Bank branch to open an account anymore. In the last two months, the bank has seen more people open accounts online than in the history of the bank. According to Heaps, about 25 percent of these accounts were opened on smartphones.

“The future of banking is changing and we are modernizing,” said Heaps. “We’re sticking with what our customers are demanding, and they want access all the time as much as we can offer.”

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@gazettenet.com


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