Bankwell in Wilton: Handling green at The Greens
Every Thursday, an employee of Bankwell’s Wilton branch heads over to The Greens at Cannondale, to perform off-site personal banking transactions for the elderly residents there.
These basic banking services are “for residents who are unable to or find it difficult to get out and come to the bank,” branch manager and Wilton resident Ann Mitrione told The Bulletin.
“Instead, we come here, to make it easy and convenient for them, so they can bank where they live,” said the assistant branch manager, Tapas Deb, at The Greens on Thursday, March 31.
The weekly program actually predates Bankwell in Wilton, and Bankwell has kept it alive.
“In 2013, Bankwell acquired the Wilton Bank,” Diane Knetzger, director of marketing, told The Bulletin.
“Part of the reason we acquired it was that we were two very much like-minded hometown banks, so we had the same outlook on what community banking should be,” she said.
It was the Wilton Bank that first started paying these visits to The Greens.
“In the same way that we wanted to continue providing outstanding personal service to our customers, we thought it was important to maintain that service at The Greens,” Knetzger said.
Three years later Bankwell continues the courtesy.
“The most common one we see is check cashing,” Mitrione said. “We also get deposits from some of the residents there who have Bankwell bank accounts.”
“Very few people here actually have banking relationships with us,” Deb noted, “but we are able to cash their checks regardless of where they bank.”
“Sometimes we make change,” Mitrione continued. “We’ll exchange bills if they need larger or smaller denominations.”
“We also provide notary services,” Deb added. “I’m a notary myself.”
It’s true that secure, digital banking from remote locations is increasingly common these days, but as Knetzger explained, seniors “may not be as savvy with online tools” as younger folks.
“They still rely on that banker that they can trust and feel comfortable with,” she said.
A cohort at risk
Deb pointed out that at-home banking can be convenient for residents of The Greens, but he added it can also be more secure, and financial security is especially important for senior citizens, as a demographic frequently targeted by scam artists.
“Unfortunately, they are targeted — that is true — and this service really allows not only the convenience and the comfort, but the security also, of doing banking where they live,” Mitrione said.
“They don’t have to go outside, they don’t have to take transportation, they don’t have to go to the bank — places where someone could be any kind of a threat. They don’t have to deal with any of this,” Deb said.
Fun for all
Community service is rewarding for the people who go out of their way to perform it, and Mitrione and Deb both said they get plenty of that during their visits to The Greens.
“It’s more than just transactions; it’s really building relationships and friendships with the residents there,” Mitrione said.
“They love it. There are a lot of them who cannot wait for me to come, or somebody to come, from Bankwell,” Deb said.
“And it’s fun for us,” he added. “We each have some kind of personal relationship with those clients, and it’s just fun sometimes to talk to them. They like us,” he said.
But Bankwell Thursdays at The Greens is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Bankwell in Wilton giving back to the Wilton community.
For a feature story on Bankwell’s range of community initiatives, visit WiltonBulletin.com/53025/bankwell-gives-back-to-wilton.
Click here for a feature story on Bankwell’s range of community initiatives.
“Residents do not need appointments; they can just come in,” Mitrione said. “We’re there every Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. It’s on The Greens’ calendar of events.”