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Online banking, apps force brick-and-mortar bank branches to go high-tech

1 in 4 mobile bankers have deposited check using phone in past 12 months

ORLANDO, Fla. – They call it the "next generation of banking," redesigned branches with new technology because one-third of customers say they would rather be banking online.

[WEB EXTRA:  Bank fee breakdown]

Jeep Hunter has his hands full with his kids and his coaching career, so waiting in a long line at the bank is not an option.

When he wants to talk to someone at his local bank, he goes online to make an appointment.

"I think it's beneficial for those who don't have the time to waste," said Hunter.

From online appointments, to free wi-fi, to tablet bars where consumers can spend time browsing on bank tablets, or charge up and use their own device while they wait.

Companies are banking on high-tech changes to keep the customers coming.

"This is not a small versus large bank situation.  This is consumers, all coming together, in this new technological trend," said a spokesperson with the Consumer Bankers Association.

That's because as the CBA points out brick-and-mortar bank branches are closing left and right.

Staying open now means finding a way to give the customer what they want.

Those changes include access to you safety deposit box will be at your fingertips, literally, with biometric control systems, kiosks that combine the convenience of an ATM with the personal touch of a live teller, and and you might see an 80-inch interactive touch screen. 

"Banks, as much as anybody, understand that it's not just about the transaction," said Christian Davies who helps design bank branches.

Davies stresses, no matter how high tech they get, banks know they also have to get personal.

"Can the bank make an emotional connection with me and forge a relationship with me over time," said Davies.

Jeep is happy to have new banking connections leaving him time to connect with his kids.

"Right now with the busy schedule that we do have, time is very important," said Jeep.