Be prepared, Indianapolis bankers: B of A has landed

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Bank of America is continuing its expansion into major markets in the country’s heartland.

It announced Thursday that it has opened its first retail branch in Indianapolis. Later this month the company will also open several smaller, high-tech branches where customers can talk with bankers over private video conference lines.

“Opening these locations in Indianapolis is a natural outgrowth of our goal to serve our clients where they are,” Andy Crask, B of A’s Indianapolis market president, said in a press release.

B of A serves about 128,000 customers in the city, mostly focused on commercial banking and wealth management.

The bank, which has been shedding branches for years, said last year that it would open as many as 60 new locations in affluent, up-and-coming markets.

The move into Indianapolis follows the same playbook B of A has used to expand into Denver, Minneapolis and elsewhere. Rather than blanketing the cities with branches, the company opened flagship branches in tony, high-profile neighborhoods and supplemented them with the smaller, high-tech offices.

In Indianapolis, B of A opened a full-service branch downtown, in the recently renovated Cummins Tower. It will then open three of its unstaffed, so-called “advanced centers” across Indianapolis.

The expansion strategy highlights B of A’s ongoing effort to revamp branch banking into a digital experience for tech-savvy customers.

The locations offer a middle ground of sorts between a full-service branch and an ATM vestibule. They feature a digital concierge service, which greets customers and directs them to a room where they can talk privately, and over a secure video feed, with a banker.

The digital-focused branches also include interactive walls with information about retail products, as well as a “gesture-based” device that will provide virtual tours, according to the release.

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Branch network Digital banking Consumer banking Growth strategies Bank of America