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Things in banking seem to be constantly changing. And while the era of free toasters with every deposit are long past, a number of new trends are making things easier for local bank customers.

“We are seeing a big move to electronics,” explained Jolene Falat, Carbondale branch manager for First Mid-Illinois Bank. “That’s the big wave of things we are seeing.”

Falat said that customers like mobile deposit, where consumers can deposit checks into their account simply by submitting a photograph of the check. She added that online banking is extremely popular as are new paying methods such as Apple Pay.

First Southern Bank’s John Dosier said even businesses are getting in on online banking.

“One of the hot trends is remote capture where we actually give businesses a machine to scan checks so that they can actually process them and deposit checks without coming in," he said. "it’s all done electronically through internet banking.”

He said many community banks now offer the same amenities of large chain banks.

“It’s all part of easy accessibility for our customers,” Dosier said.

Bob Bleyer of The Bank of Carbondale said technology has changed banking

“Remote deposit, PC banking, all have changed how we do banking,” he said. “We have to stay up with the technology and offer products and services that use that technology.”

With the new electronic options available to bank consumers, many thought the days of bank branches were numbered, but Falat said that has not been the case.

“The demise of the branch is not as likely as many thought just five years ago,” she said. “People still need a face-to-face and want that.”

“Part of the purpose of the branch is to have added value to every person who walks in the door. We want to take care of everything for them while they are here,” said Mike Neill, community banking president with First Mid-Illinois.

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