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Bank-Anywhere.com Launches Branch Locator Mashup

By Jim Bruene on November 3, 2006 12:30 AM | Comments

For some time now, branch/ATM locators have been standard feature on banking websites. They began in the late 1990s as crude lists providing an address and maybe a phone number.

Today, locator tools are more robust, with branch hours, maps, pictures, and more. Still, many provide a simple listing instead of the locations pinpointed on a map. 

Sovereign Bank branch locator CLICK TO ENLARGEFor example, here's the output from a search at Sovereign Bank for all branches and ATMs in zip code 10019 (click on inset for closeup).

The list is well laid out, but you must wade through it to find the closest branch, then drill down through the links to find more details and a map.

Compare that to the tool at Bank-Anywhere.com <bank-anywhere.com>, a mashup of Google Maps and the FDIC branch location database <www.fdic.gov>. Here's a list of all banks in my zip code 98115. Clicking on the bank icon or the list on the right side triggers a pop-up callout with additional info.

Bank-Anywhere.com tool CLICK TO ENLARGE

Branch-Anywhere is in public beta after a Sept. 15 launch (see its blog). The company behind it is Dash Space, a Vancouver, BC-based developer with such a low profile they don't appear on Google searches. They did respond promptly to our email questions (email here).

Analysis
Financial institutions should consider using a similar approach on their websites and either program the function themselves, or outsource it to Bank-Anywhere.com or others. It is important for this logical link to make a good first impression with potential customers of your bank. The Ajax-based map not only looks more sophisticated and up-to-date, but also is easier to use.

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