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Bank "Bread Truck" delivers the dough


By Steven Jarvis Daily Record Writer


Sept. 07, 1999

BENTON COUNTY -- You might be wondering why the "Bread Truck" is loafing around Razorback games and craft fairs, but any way you slice it, it's an ideal situation for Arkansas National Bank.

The "Bread Truck" is just one of the nicknames for Arkansas National Bank's new automatic teller machine van, a customized van with an ATM machine on board.

"There are only 40 of these mobile ATMs in the country," said Nat Bothwell of ANB.

ANB plans to have the van at special events throughout northwest Arkansas. Bothwell said that ANB has an agreement with the University of Arkansas to have the van at all home Razorback football, basketball and baseball games. The van will also be at special events such as the county fair and the many craft fairs held in the area.

"We see it as an opportunity to take the bank out to the community," Bothwell said. ANB operates branches around northwest Arkansas.

Event sponsors can sign up with the bank to reserve the van, at no cost to the sponsors.

Bothwell flew out to Reno a week ago and, after approving the graphics and details on the van, drove it back to Bentonville, arriving late Wednesday night.

The van -- a customized Ford Econoline 250 extended van -- was made by Mobile Automated Teller Terminal Systems of Reno, Nev.

"Its totally self-contained, wireless and has a gasoline generator," Bothwell said, "so it can operate completely independently."

The wireless communication capabilities of the van are sponsored by Southwestern Bell.

Bothwell said the van will be staffed by two people, though after being set up, it can be left alone for the duration of the event, or they can drive it back to the bank each night if necessary. The van can be set up in less than 30 minutes.

As would be expected, there are redundant security systems throughout the van, Bothwell said, though he could not go into details for security reasons. The van won't carry cash while it's on the move. Rather, once the van is in place and set up, an armored car will deliver cash to the site.

Bothwell said the ATM van costs less than a permanent facility, which can cost as much as $40,000 once the bank pays for curbing, a kiosk, a lease or purchase of land, landscaping, and the automatic teller machine itself.

The van will make its debut at the Sept. 18 Razorback football game in Little Rock.

Steven Jarvis can be reached by e-mail at stevej@nwanews.com