EDMOND, Okla. (AP) _ The Bank of Oklahoma's Edmond branch will be the first bank in the state to use a hand scanner as part of the security system for safe deposit boxes.
The bank, which will have its grand opening Friday, allows customers to access their safe deposit boxes without assistance from tellers.
Customers place their hands on a scanner and type in an access code to get into the safe deposit area. Then they use their keys to open their boxes.
``This makes the safe deposit boxes truly confidential. It's just them in there,'' branch manager Michael Hiller said. ``It should help them feel safer because we don't even have a key.''
The bank is the third in the country to use the technology. A bank each in Hawaii and in Oregon have operational PassVault systems, and a bank in Las Vegas that is still under construction will use the system when it opens.
``But I think it's important that people realize that this technology has been used for five years and has been proven to be safe,'' Hiller said.
The system also saves the bank money because it can use its employees more efficiently. Traditionally, both the customer's key and a master key are required to open the safe boxes. Usually, the boxes are unlocked by bank personnel.
At other Bank of Oklahoma locations, a handful of bank employees have access to the master key, and those tellers must stop what they are doing to help the customers gain access to their boxes, Hiller said.
The Edmond bank is the first free-standing Bank of Oklahoma location to be built in the state since 1995. Hiller said the company plans to build more banks in the metro area in the next few years and that they all are to be equipped with the PassVault system.