BankPlus is committed to the Yazoo communityBy JASON PATTERSON,
Technology is rapidly changing the banking industry and the way many people handle their banking transactions.
BankPlus is adapting to those changes and offering the most modern services, but one thing that will never change is their approach to community banking.
“BankPlus is growing, but we are focused on continuing to be a community bank because that’s what got us where we are today,” said Butch Gary, president of BankPlus in Yazoo City.
BankPlus has been making major investments in its Yazoo City properties, most notably the recent renovation of the Jerry Clower Boulevard branch.
“It’s new from floor to ceiling,” Gary said. “I’ve been here for 20 years, and when I first came here this bank was brand new. “This is the first bank that BankPlus built in this design.”
Another thing Yazooans may notice around town is the landscaping work being done at all three of the banks locations in the city.
John Wesley Boatner, assistant vice president, said BankPlus wants to do its part to improve the city.
“We’ve noticed that there is a lot of focus on making Yazoo City more beautiful right now, and we are taking the initiative to make sure that our branches look the best that they can look,” Boatner said. “We spend a lot of time and invest a lot of money and resources into that.”
“Yazoo City has been really good to BankPlus,” Gary said. “This city was a center of growth for BankPlus. This is where it took off.”
BankPlus has also been blessed to have quality employees in Yazoo City.
“We have a very high performing team with great morale,” Boatner said. “We have a good group that really enjoys their job. They are innovative with the new technology and committed to providing great service.”
BankPlus has a history of looking for ways to better serve the community. A perfect example is the extended drive-through hours (7 a.m.-7 p.m.) at the main branch that allows customers to make transactions outside of normal business hours.
New technology has given customers even more flexibility. For example, BankPlus has a Value Plus checking account that includes a mobile app customers can download with and there are 360,000 merchants nationwide participating. If you are driving by one of those businesses, it will notify your phone of discounts those businesses are offering. It also has roadside assistance and cell phone protection options.
“We offer things now like text alerts where you can send you a message when your balance gets to a certain amount or can get a fraud alert when something seems suspicious,” Boatner said.
BankPlus has a debit card that carries the Blair E. Batson children’s hospital logo on the card. Each swipe of the card donates .04 cents along with an annual contribution of $12 per card donated to the hospital.
Gary said the increasing use of electronic transactions has changed how banks operate.
“When I first started there was a teller line with many bank tellers, and now we’re down to two or three even though we’re doing way more transactions because most of those transactions are electronic. You can now do just anything you want now with your smartphone.”
Gary said that the next generation will likely do all of its banking electronically and personal visits to a bank will be rare.
“We have many customers who want to come into the bank and speak to people they are used to dealing with,” Gary said. “I’m glad we have that because I enjoy them coming to the bank, but my children don’t ever visit a bank and yours probably won’t either.”
Boatner said that because Yazoo is a smaller community there are still more customers who desire face-to-face transactions. He said that it was much different when he worked for the bank in Madison.
“It was a different world compared to here,” Boatner said “We still have customers who come in and read the paper and drink coffee. In Madison if you had any traffic, it was usually at the drive-through. It was a big change when I started working in Yazoo, but I like it. It’s almost like a family. I really appreciate the community banking atmosphere.”
One of the ways the bank gives back to the community is through its CreditPlus seminars.
“We host the seminars in our local branches to educate the community on financial literacy, “Boatner said. “This would include how to prepare and understand a budget, credit reporting and building your credit in order to prepare you for any major purchases. It teaches people how to set financial goals in life and comes with an offer for a small short term loan. This just is one of our many benefits that help to make us who we are. Our core purpose is to enrich lives and build stronger communities.”