reserving a plot in Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary.

The Los Angeles County cemetery, one of the nation's largest, offers a financial convenience that most others don't: an automated teller machine. Whittier Area Federal Credit Union installed it about a year ago next to a flower shop near the main entrance to the 2,700-acre cemetery.

Of course, the machine is intended to serve the living. All of the cemetery's 600 employees are eligible to join $162 million-asset Whittier, and the cemetery has many more visitors than residents; about 1.7 million cars pass through the gates each year

"We figured it would be a prudent place to have an ATM," said Richard Adams, Whittier's vice president of marketing.

Still, he said, the ATM's revenues are "not where we want them yet."

An item a few months ago on Paul Harvey's national radio show probably didn't help much. Mr. Harvey said Rose Hills is in San Francisco. -- Louis Whiteman

?

Boone County National Bank of Columbia, Mo., will have an easy answer for customers who ask why their grocery store branch looks as if it had been painted by a bunch of kindergartners: It was.

The IGA store that houses the branch is being renovated, so the $739 million-asset bank had to move the branch to temporary quarters in the store.

To brighten up the nondescript space, which it will occupy for three months, the bank brought in 20 kindergarten students from nearby Apple School on Thursday morning to decorate the walls with handprints, hearts, and trees.

The branch was to reopen today.

"This will make being in the location a little more fun," said Kim Hudson, a bank spokeswoman. The project also fostered community relations with the nonprofit private school, which has held all its accounts at Boone County National for 20 years and borrowed money from the bank to build a second location in 1984.

Nancy Watrous, the school's director, said the experience gave teachers a special opportunity to discuss banking with the kids.

"When they're only 5, they want to grow up to be astronauts or firefighters," Ms. Watrous said. "It's hard for these little ones to grasp what banking means. Sometimes they come up with wonderful ideas, like 'Lincoln invented the penny.' " -- Craig Woker

?

A Texas thrift is rolling out automated teller machines for junior to use while mom or dad bank and shop.

Bank United Corp. of Houston is installing Kids' Talking Machines in each of its 75 supermarket branches in Texas. The KTMs have small touch-screen monitors and speakers that tell interactive stories about banking and budgeting.

Those with kiddie accounts at the thrift can also use the KTMs to check their balances and determine how much they would have to set aside each week to meet a particular savings goal.

Ronald D. Coben, executive vice president and director of community banking with $15.4 billion-asset Bank United, said the KTM idea came about as officials were planning to open the company's first supermarket branches.

"We noticed that the people in supermarkets often have their kids along with them," he said. "We wanted to give the child a good experience and occupy him while mom has a chance to do her banking." -- Louis Whiteman

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.