Banking Industry Taking On New Dimension

Commerce Bank


Wichita’s first lender was James R. Mead, when he loaned money for supplies to 1,500 Wichita Indians in the winter of 1863-64. Commerce BankLater, around 1870, W.C. Woodman’s general store became Wichita’s first loan service eventually growing into one of Wichita’s first banks. The Arkansas Valley Bank made Woodman one of Wichita’s richest men in the “boom” years of the 1880s. A lot of money, fueled by the cattle drives and land speculation, was actively changing hands in the early days of Wichita.

Then during the economic downturn of the 1890s, numerous ill-fated banking ventures came and went. The earliest predecessor of today’s Intrust Bank, the Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank, however, was able to weather the downturns with its strong roots and a conservative fiscal policy. During the Depression-era bank failures, no Wichita banks were forced to close, although there were some close calls.

In this electronic age, banking is taking on a new dimension in how people conduct financial transactions. Gone are the days of having to visit the local bank and wait in lines during inconvenient hours to make deposits or withdrawals in accounts, or even open a new account. While the future of banking still revolves around the traditional system, online transactions are making visits to the local bank unnecessary.

Being able to do everything on the home computer that used to require a trip to the bank is making banking much more convenient for customers. It was not that long ago that bank customers were demanding better hours as most institutions were only open during what was termed “banker’s hours” typically only during the day and never on weekends. Banks responded by expanding their hours and some are open during the evening and weekends, recognizing that many people could not take off from work to conduct their banking business.

As the use of the internet exploded, people who were shopping regularly on the internet, wanted to be able to check their account balances without having to call the bank and internet banking saw its beginnings. From there, it seemed a natural progression to be able to conduct business online as well as simply see how much money remained, and another huge step was taken for customers’ financial freedom.

Confidence In Security Spurs Growth

As security systems were improved and online banking became more popular, more people began using the system to conduct their business, available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Customers would seldom have to visit their local branch to conduct their banking business and soon internet-only banks began to spring up across the country. With their beginnings, a customer located anywhere in the world, could open an account through the internet and conduct all their business online.

Many traditional banks have also made opening an account through the internet possible and now customers have the option of starting a second or even third account with the same bank, transferring money from an existing account to fund the new one. The idea of banking being a stodgy occupation has changed dramatically in just a few years, and with different financial services offered through online banking, people are visiting less and less, except for the occasional visit to open some accounts not yet available online.

Many banking services now include stock portfolio management as well as certificates of deposits, which most banks require a person visit to establish. However, once the accounts are set up, many transactions can be done online.

Some Local Wichita Banks

Wichita Credit Unions