Except for the 10 tires below the floor and steps outside, Chanel Shunnarah thought her temporary Regions Bank worksite at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama, certainly felt like her branch home in Pelham.
Along with three other associates, Shunnarah helped Regions open its portable branch for the first time May 11, 2022, at the Regions Tradition golf tournament.
Regions customer Brian Difeo was glad to see it on the course.
“I drove right by the Regions branch I had planned to stop at on the way to the tournament for some cash and change for tips,” he said. “But when I went in, there was the portable branch.
“I think it’s a super idea because there’s always a need for cash,” he said. “I used the ATM and went inside to get some change for one of my $20s. The portable branch was very helpful to me today, and I’m sure it will be to many other people.”
For 15 years, the bank has rolled its branch on wheels to scores of communities — temporarily replacing banks damaged by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other damage to minimize customer disruptions — but never to the links.
Regions bought its first portable branch for Hurricane Katrina response in 2005. The portable branch truck at Greystone replaced it in 2019.
“The experience has been amazing,” Shunnarah said of working in the portable branch, noting the Champions Tour pro who used the ATM outside to make a big deposit Tuesday and the visits by nearly 50 people Wednesday in the first two hours after opening.
The portable branch in front of Greystone’s clubhouse is open 9 to 4 Wednesday through Saturday and 10 to 4 on Sunday. Two teams of four bankers are taking turns staffing the branch throughout the tournament.
“We have different pod stations, the ATM, a waiting area for customers, security, and can do everything from issue debit cards, to take deposits, process withdrawals, stop payments, open accounts, and more,” Shunnarah said.
“It’s a full-service branch on wheels.”
Terri Bell, Regions’ market manager for branch delivery, said the portable branch’s Regions Tradition stop May 11-15 grew out of a COVID-19-related request. Tournament organizers considered a range of options for fan safety and convenience, including reloadable cards for cashless payments, before requesting the portable branch.
Regions got approval for the Regions Tradition engagement Jan. 14, 2022, when the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta approved its mobile branch license.
Under Section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act and the license, Regions can operate the portable branch in the Birmingham Metropolitan Statistical Area. That includes Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Blount, Chilton and St. Clair counties.
The Fed’s approval allows Regions to provide branch services and transactions in settings that don’t replace damaged locations.
“This will be a tremendous community outreach as we had only used the portable branch for disaster recovery,” Bell said. “There are so many people who have no idea we operate this type of program and have offered this kind of disaster-relief assistance and support to our communities for so many years.
“The Regions Tradition is a great opportunity for our leaders, associates, board members, customers and others to see our program at work in a slightly different manner.”
Next up for the portable branch is a 15-day engagement in July during the World Games, also sponsored by Regions.
“They have a market where they bring in artisans and local vendors to sell their goods,” Bell said. “Someone from the World Games has told us we could see some of these want to open accounts before the event so they can use us for on-site deposits.
“This is new ground for us,” she said of the unit’s non-disaster use. “We’ll be learning a lot here on the course this week for the Tradition. We stand ready to serve.”
Mark Senter of experiential marketing at Regions said the portable branch already is generating Regions Tradition buzz and thoughts about other uses.
“It arrived last Friday and people began asking about it during the practice rounds,” Senter said. “It’s right where the busses drop off so you can’t miss it. As far as I’m concerned, this is going to be a year-over-year add on to the Tradition.”
Portable Branch Video Tour
Step inside Regions Bank’s full-service bank on wheels.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $164 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,300 banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.