15 Royal Farm stores to get terminals NationsBank testing withdrawal-only link


March 06, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

NationsBank Corp. plans to install cash-dispensing machines in 15 Royal Farm Stores in greater Baltimore beginning next week, a company official said yesterday.

The bank will have the machines in the convenience stores by June, said Gary Fleming, NationsBank's marketing executive for the mid-Atlantic.

Mr. Fleming said NationsBank also is talking to Royal Farm's Baltimore-based parent, Cloverland Farms Dairy, about putting machines in another 64 stores that operate throughout Western Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Baltimore region.

"We will be taking a look and seeing what we will mutually want to do in the other 64 stores," Mr. Fleming said. "Royal Farms is one of the early forays we are making to provide substantially increased convenience to customers."

Cloverland Farms officials could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Fleming said NationsBank will get more customers from the deal and the stores should see increased spending by their patrons.

He declined to say whether Royal Farm will receive a percentage each transaction. "Financially, it is viable for us and for them," Mr. Fleming said.

Cash-dispensing machines are similar to the widely used ATMs, but don't accept deposits. About 94 percent of all transactions at ATMs are withdrawals or transfers, Mr. Fleming said.

The machines are an inexpensive way to attract more business. It will cost NationsBank, on average, $25,000 to install each machine and about $10,000 a year to service it, Mr. Fleming said. That compares with $40,000 to install an ATM and $20,000 a year to service it.

NationsBank, the nation's third-largest banking company, has been involved in supermarket and convenience store banking for nearly two years, Mr. Fleming said. He said he is talking to other retailers about full-service branches within their stores, but declined to elaborate.

The Royal Farm arrangement is "kind of a test for us," Mr. Fleming said. "We are putting our toe in the water with several convenience store operators in the mid-Atlantic. It is something new for us, it is something new for them."

Pub Date: 3/06/96

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