Chase Federal Bank is opening a drive-through branch in Miami, where customers waiting in line will be able to tune in a FM radio frequency to hear the latest information on the bank's products and services.

Called "drive-by broadcasting," the service will take advantage of the time customers spend in line by providing them with information on banking hours and a variety of bank products, said Don F. Doiron, senior vice president at Chase Federal.

"We're very excited about this new marketing technique. It allows us to alleviate the boredom of waiting in line by using that time to expedite service, educate our customers, and market new products to them while they are focused on financial matters."

The new branch and drive-by service will begin operating later this month, said Mr. Doiron.

Recorded Messages

To provide the service, the bank will use a portable FM radio transmitter designed by Drive-By-Broadcasting of Miami, the company that developed the service. The transmitter broadcasts prerecorded messages from a continuous loop cassette tape. Customers entering a drive-through lane will see a sign indicating the frequency, said Mr. Doiron. Messages will be received by those within a 300-yard radius of the transmitter, according to DriveBy officials.

The new drive-through facility will be opened primarily to provide a convenient service channel to attract new checking account customers, said Mr. Doiron. Chase Federal, with approximately $2 billion in assets, has a network of 25 branches in Florida, a handful of which have limited drive-up capacity, he said.

The new branch has six drivethrough lanes and will have extended hours, operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, said Mr. Doiron. He added that the drive-by service will be a good way to promote the opening of the new branch and will probably be used in two other branches the bank is acquiring.

Developed by Ex-Broker

Drive-by broadcasting was developed by Miami entrepreneur Tyson D. Ferrer, a former stock broker who founded Drive-ByBroadcasting of Miami several years ago.

The company originally targeted the real estate market. The idea was to allow customers interested in purchasing a home to drive up, tune in to a radio frequency indicated on a sign, and hear information about the house, such as square footage, decor, and other amenities.

According to Mr. Ferrer, the company decided to market a similar service to the financial industry.

A bank leases one or more transmitters per location. Each transmitter broadcasts on a specific frequency, making use of those available in between radio station frequencies, said Mr. Ferrer.

The bank develops a script, from 15 seconds to 12 minutes in length, which is given to Drive-By for professional recording in a studio, using national talent and background music, said Mr. Ferrer.

Banks desiring to reach multi-lingual markets can develop messages in different languages and broadcast them simultaneously from two different transmitters.

Drive-By produces four programs a year for the bank for free, said Mr. Ferrer. Anything over that number costs about $100 per production, plus $20 for each duplicate the bank wants for use in other branches. Cost for the transmitter depends on the length of the lease term and the number of branches involved, he said. Also included in the service is a replacement warranty that guarantees a new unit within 24 hours in the event of any malfunctions.

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