Rising Sun – Celebrating the Past, Present, Future

  • 16 May 2017
  • Posted by Amarasco

Howard Bank Rising Sun Bank BuildingChartered in 1880, the historic Rising Sun Bank was one of a few Maryland banks that survived the Depression. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this bank anchors the past of Rising Sun to the present and the future. No one is more in tuned to the history and meaning of the bank than Charles “Chip” Slaybaugh. The bank became part of the Howard Bank family in 2014. As a special assets collection officer for Howard Bank, Chip is continuing the connection of the Slaybaugh family to this historic institution. Chip’s great grandfather was president of the National Bank of Rising Sun - Check PresentationRising Sun, one of the previous identities of this institution, from 1912 until 1950. Because of the high standards of the bank’s procedures, not only did the bank survive the Depression, it was the first in Maryland to reopen after the historic 3-day closing called for by President Roosevelt. Images of all of the past presidents adorn the walls of the board room, and other historical items are on display. The celebration honors the history and preservation of the beautiful historic building that sits in the center of this little town with a strong sense of community.Rising Sun CelebrationRising Sun - historical artifacts

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The Future of Branch Banking

  • 12 Sep 2016
  • Posted by Admin

As digital banking use continues to increase, bank branch traffic is decreasing. But that doesn’t signal the end of branch banking. Quite the contrary; the interactions that are occurring in the branches are very important.

While consumers want the convenience of online and mobile banking, when they are making a large purchase (think home or car), need financial advice or have a service need, a person-to-person connection is the overwhelming choice, not an app. When people are making a major financial decision that involves short and long term financial planning they really want that personal relationship. And this is what sets Howard Bank apart from other banks – a hands on approach.

Branch banking will continue to change over the next five to ten years. The trend of customers coming into the branch less for transactions and more for advice will continue. “Our branch layout will change from the standpoint that there’s no need to have a 4,000 square foot branch tomorrow; an 800 to 1,200 square foot branch storefront is more appropriate,” says Barry Luciani, Senior Vice President, Branch Executive at Howard Bank.

The core function of the branch has become relationship building. And this means that the people in the branch are key. “They have to be equipped to problem solve and listen to customers and then come up with financial solutions. And they have to give value-added advice back to the customer,” says Luciani. “The days of accepting a check in our branches is going down. We’re seeing transaction counts decrease year over year. So now you have to go back and re-engineer. What does the branch really do now for today and tomorrow? It all goes back to providing advice and relationship building with our customers.”

Listening to customers and offering good customer service is important, whether that service is in-person, on the phone, or by electronic means. “At Howard Bank, we pride ourselves on customer service which is that hands on approach. We are proactively listening to our customers, because that’s really what drives coming up with those solutions,” notes Luciani, including electronic banking services such as online banking, online bill pay, mobile banking, and mobile deposit.

In addition to hands on service and financial technology, Howard’s size and community bank status offers great advantages to its customers. “We’re here, we’re in it, and the leaders understand the market. When you need to get to a decision maker, Mary Ann [Scully, President and CEO of Howard Bank] is only a thirty-minute drive or a phone call away. And the same with all the decision makers. If there’s a problem, we’re not calling Charlotte, Buffalo or Winston-Salem. We’re on the phone with the people who are involved with the day-to-day management of those processes. That really differentiates being a community bank, local, and managed in the Baltimore market.”

So while branch banking may be evolving, it is a positive change and will continue to be part of an overall hands on banking solution developed for the customer.

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Your History Lesson, featuring the ATM

  • 20 Oct 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

ATM, cashpoint, hole in the wall...regardless of how you refer to it, chances are you’ve experienced standing in front of one, and in line for one, more than you realize. Maybe you’ve been outside in subzero temperatures, maybe an absurd service fee has been inflicted upon you, or even a combination of the two. Nearing its 50-year anniversary, the now ubiquitous cash dispenser made its debut in 1967. Though its uniqueness is undeniable, its origins are a bit knotty. It’s been said the first cash machine appeared in Japan, though there’s very little published on the matter. Whether or not that’s true, Europe certainly had the most successful implementation of after-hours cash dispensers, a response from bankers to the rising labor costs and unionization. The automated teller machines of today are essentially the culmination of several inventions from multiple people over a few decades. The history is confusing, but we’ve decided to take it upon us to break it down. In 1960, American inventor and businessman Luther Simjian persuaded a New York City bank to purchase a few of his Bankograph machines, a machine that could accept cash or check deposits at any time of day or night. So that customers could trust that they would in fact see their loot again, a camera inside took a snapshot of each deposit, dispensing a photocopy receipt. Well, unfortunately for Simjian, his automatic-deposit machines didn’t quite take off, quite possibly due to his niche market. “The only people using the machines were prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face,” he once said. Then there was John Shepherd-Barron. A Scottish inventor, it’s been said he had a flash of genius for a cash dispensing machine while soaking in the bathtub. Using paper vouchers printed with radioactive ink, Shepherd-Barron’s first ATM was installed at a Barclays branch in London during 1967. Customers entered an identification code and withdrew a maximum of £10, translating to about $15 today. By the end of the 1960s, engineer, and former professional baseball player, Donald Wetzel had the first automated banking machine installed in the U.S. on Long Island. This machine, like today, used plastic cards where account information was stored in magnetic strips. Dozens of banks followed suit, outfitting their branches and installing ATMs in cities and beyond. The true value of ATMs was confirmed in 1977, when Citibank’s chairman had ATMs installed throughout New York City – that winter a blizzard dumped some 17 inches of snow that blanketed the city and essentially shut it down. ATM use increased by 20 percent during that snowstorm. Several bankers, engineers and inventors would’ve liked to lay claim to the birth of the ATM. But in reality, it was the culmination of each of them attempting to design a different aspect of a machine that would one day even be in Antarctica. Pretty cool, right? (And even cooler: Howard Bank gives you access to over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Check out our MoneyPass® Network Benefits to learn more.)  

Want to learn more about the history of ATMs? Automated Teller Machines A Brief History of the ATM Long Live the ATM Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Money
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