Up Front: BANK NOTES
DOO-WAH CASH: MTV MEETS ATM
A TRIP TO THE AUTOMATIC teller machine is a humdrum activity. But a big bank, trying to boost ATM usage, is making it entertaining.
In Seattle's Key Arena, barker Maxine Pixel beckons sports fans from large-screen TVs to visit KeyCorp ATMs. Played by a stand-up comic, she tells jokes about lattes and Bill Gates. Below her are tomato-red cash machines and, at kid's level, large yellow and white buttons to play music. Next to this is a bank-sponsored video arcade. At the Rock 'N' Roll Museum in KeyCorp's hometown of Cleveland, the ATMs are called Rock 'N' Dough and blast out tunes. Similar fun elements are planned for malls.
Banks everywhere are trying to cut costs by promoting the ATM habit. No.11 Keycorp (assets: $68 billion), whose area stretches from Alaska to Maine, now conducts 30% of consumer transactions via ATM, vs. 19% for the entire banking industry. Its goal is to double ATM usage by 1998. Still, it would lag behind other big banks, such as Bank of America.EDITED BY IRA SAGER, WITH PAUL ENG By Seanna Browder