SOME CUSTOMERS WALK into the PNC Bank branch that Dan Bishop manages in Malvern, Pa., and immediately notice what's there: someone to greet them, an Apple-inspired consultation counter that has iPads and large, flat-screen monitors, and an ATM wall with a high-tech look that silently communicates the machines' advanced functionality.

Others walk in and immediately notice what's missing: no ropes, no partitioned work stations, none of the familiar cues to signify where a customer should go for service. Which leads to the inevitable question that Bishop and his staff field several times a day: Where's the teller line?

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