SunTrust (STI) has opened a downtown Atlanta branch to test new bank technology concepts that could be used in other SunTrust branches nationwide.

One solution being analyzed at this innovation branch is an automated safety deposit box system. This system, built by the Montgomery, Ohio-based manufacturer Hamilton Safe, lets clients access their valuables using their debit card, PIN number and hand scan.

Another technology the $179.5 billion-asset bank is testing is a machine that combines the functions of an ATM and a live teller. Developed by NCR Corp., Teller Connect lets clients start a video conference call to a remote teller to ask questions or complete a transaction, such as cashing a check.

This Atlanta branch will also experiment with a Tablet Bar at which customers can try out the bank's mobile, tablet and online offerings.

Lastly, SunTrust is looking to install an 80-inch interactive educational touch screen in its branches to teach bank clients about accounts and services.

"Consumers want the option of self-service technology inside the branch," said Brad Dinsmore, vice president of consumer banking and private wealth management at SunTrust, in a press release. "This new technology allows more choices and greater convenience, while also ensuring access to experienced tellers who can offer the personal touch and human element that no technology can take away."

A similar innovation branch will open in Washington, D.C., this summer. This branch is going to test 35 teller connect machines.

Evan Nemeroff is a reporter for American Banker

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