Bethesda-based Suburban Bank has entered into an agreement with Dart Drug Corp. of Landover to install remote automatic teller machines in three of the drug chain's stores in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
Although Suburban has been operating remote teller machines in two 7-Eleven stores in the past two years, the agreement with Dart represents the first phase of an aggressive program to deploy ATMs at other retail locations, an official of the bank said.
Suburban will install the first three ATMs, probably within the next 60 days, at Dart Drug stores in Marlow Heights, Capitol Heights and Aspen Hill. The bank first must receive approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., however.
In the meantime, Suburban and Dart are discussing other stores as possible locations for additional ATMs. "I think we have come to a general agreement on one site and possibly another," said Terry Eikenbery, senior vice president and manager of Suburban's future banking division.
Eikenbery also disclosed that Suburban is holding discussions with other retailers about putting ATMs in their stores, but he said no agreements have been signed.
Suburban currently operates an ATM at a 7-Eleven in Prince George's County. The bank removed another from a convenience store after it opened a full-service branch nearby, but may install others in 7-Eleven stores soon.
"We've had discussions with 7-Eleven about some other stores," Eikenbery acknowledged. "Essentially, we were told they were going to make a corporate decision on how and where they would be installed."
Earlier last week, industry sources said that Southland Corp., parent of the 7-Eleven chain, has decided to permit the installation of banking machines in several of its 7,000 stores. A spokeswoman for Southland would say only that the company has installed ATMs in a few of its stores as part of a test.
Although Eikenbery said that Suburban has "reasonably aggressive plans" to install ATMs in its market, he cautioned, "We don't have any grandiose scheme to put an ATM in every 7-Eleven in Maryland.
"Keep in mind, from Suburban's standpoint, our objective here primarily is to do one thing--augment our branch delivery system."
Suburban, which owns 54 ATMs, recently joined 12 other institutions in the formation of Network Exchange, the first truly regional remote teller system to become operational in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
The affiliation with Network Exchange is only incidental to Suburban's plans to increase the number of ATMs it owns, Eikenbery emphasized.