Arvest closes two Fort Smith banks as more banking services move online


Due to new trends in the banking industry, Arvest Bank is closing two of its Fort Smith locations this summer.

The bank is closing its location on US 71 South and its location inside the Walmart Supercenter on South Zero Street.

“With more of this in a digital space, we just think we need fewer physical locations overall,” said Jason Kincy, Marketing Director of the Banking System.

Officials decided to do it because, in the midst of the pandemic. many people have converted to exclusively online banking.

“The past year has introduced many challenges for the banking industry and accelerated existing trends in consumer preferences and behavior. Most important for Arvest Bank has been a shift in the balance between branch transactions and digital bank, “according to a press release.

Kincy said people can do basic monetary transactions digitally, like depositing checks. They also have access to less money than in the past.

The bank will close 31 of its more than 270 branches. More than a third of these banks are limited service branches and the majority of them are close to nearby banks that can serve customers.

“I think for Arvest we really try to stay in tune with customer preferences and behaviors,” Kincy said.

As part of the new round of changes, Arvest plans to build eight new banks and remodel 15 over the next year to a year and a half, according to the press release. The bank also plans to install 38 more ATMs. The machines will allow customers to communicate with Arvest ATMs via a video screen and perform more transactions than traditional ATMs.

“This is really an evolution,” Kincy said.

Kincy expects the majority of the team members from these closed banks to move to other locations.

“We anticipate that there will be a really limited number affected by the changes,” Kincy said.

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