First Union Corp. is testing commercial automated teller machines in its home state.

The machines, which have a wider slot to accept merchant's deposits, could be used as adjuncts to a branch or standalones in commercial areas, said Eddie Link, vice president of the $139.9 billion-asset bank's cash management division.

"We're assessing the viability of using commercial ATMs," Mr. Link said.

The machines are for deposit only, Mr. Link said.

First Union's experiment is indicative of the large commercial banks looking to find alternative delivery channels for small-business owners, who use branches often. Taking commercial deposits, in particular, can tie up personnel who could be making sales.

Other banks now using the machines include Banc One Corp., PNC Midlantic Corp., and Barnett Banks.

Those institutions are using machines made by Frisco Bay Industries, a Canadian company based in St. Laurent, Quebec. Its machines cost between $25,000 to $30,000

Mr. Link said First Union is trying machines from more than one company.

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