Wilson Bank and Trust, in a move to keep pace with larger-bank competition, is installing a personal computer-based telephone banking system that can recognize spoken works.

A $164 million-asset community bank in Lebanon, Tenn., Wilson Bank and Trust plans to give its customers access to their accounts through either voice recognition or touch-tone phone keypad commands with the installation of torah system from Arkansas Systems Inc.

While many banks have installed telephone banking systems that can understand touch-tone instructions, few have the ability to understand spoken commands.

The system will operate 24 hours a day. Customers will be able to obtain check balances, transfer funds, or confirm that checks have cleared. Steve Holt, Wilson Bank assistant vice president, said the system will be called Telephone Banking and introduced to employees for testing in November.

Competitive Pressure

Unlike other community banks that install telephone banking as a means of reducing labor costs, Mr. Holt said Wilson bank is offering the system for competitive and customer service reasons.

"Most of the banks in this region either have a telephone banking system or are about to roll one out. So it's a critical that we provide that degree of service, too," he said.

Mr. Holt said another factor was the tradition of Tennessee banks in many communities to close branches on Wednesdays and open for business on Saturdays. "For many customers, not having access to account information during a business day is an inconvenience, and we wanted to address that."

Little Rock-based Arkansas Systems officials said Wilson Bank first became a client last year, when executives decided to discontinue an existing outsourcing relationship and bring their data processing in-house.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.