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'Distance Banking' implemented by Maine banks, credit unions as a response to COVID-19

Some additional measures of the new normal include promoting online and mobile banking, ATMs, drive-thrus, and calling the customer service line

BANGOR, Maine — As part of Maine's effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, banks and credit unions are taking additional measures to protect and support their employees and customers.

Credit Unions and banks in Maine have now opted to do "Distance Banking."

Emphasizing drive-through services and limiting access to their lobbies, all to protect the health of their customers and staff.

Some additional measures of the new normal include promoting online and mobile banking, ATMs, drive-thrus, and calling the customer service line.

You can also set up an appointment in advance if you need in-person assistance.

"We're honoring really the advice of the CDC, and honestly also the customer behavior that we are seeing, customers want to be able to have the physical distancing, and so by offering lobby hours by appointment we are able to do that, we are also seeing customers really use the digital options that are available," said Kate Rush, the Director of Community Relations at Bangor Savings Bank.

Families and businesses may experience financial hardships due to the Coronavirus.

“We are utilizing multiple delivery channels to serve members including beefing up our Call Center. The whole purpose for these steps, including offering drive-thru service only, is to minimize contact and protect members and staff,” said Jon Paradise, the VP of PR and Communications at  Town & Country Credit Union.

Maine's banks and credit unions tell us they are available to provide support during these unusual economic times.

Banks like Bangor Savings Bank are implementing work from home policies.

"We also are making some changes in terms of branch service, our drive-ups remain open, ATM's remain open, and actually our lobbies remain open by appointment," said Rush.

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According to the Maine Credit Union League and the Maine Bankers Associations, all Maine credit unions and banks are taking the same sort of protective steps.

Lobby access is by appointment only.

For Cindy Boudreau, the drive-through is the option that works best.

"It's easier just to stop by, I don't do computer stuff so, it's simple, they are there, I washed my hands with a hand wipe after they give us the money and we seem to be comfortable doing it that way," said Boudreau.

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Remember to always be aware and not let your guard down. Scammers are working hard for your money these days.

"They do take advantage of tragic situations, they are taking advantage of this...if you haven't initiated the phone call the best thing to do is to hang up and call the bank back at the number that you know," said Andrew Grover, the Bangor Savings Bank Chief Risk Officer.

If you think you've been a victim of a fraud, contact your bank immediately.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to move al... l branch transactions to drive-thru service only, as of Monday, 3/16, to create social distancing that protects you and our staff. This means that lobbies in all branches will be closed to traffic until further notice.

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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