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How the first ATM in Sioux Falls became The Advantage Network

How the first ATM in Sioux Falls became The Advantage Network

Innovation is the bedrock of positive evolution. Everything we do at The First National Bank in Sioux Falls is engineered to improve our customer experience.

So, a touchstone question we ask of every new program is, “Does this idea have a clear opportunity to grow?”

That is, does it make for a cleaner, tidier, and more efficient experience while creating fresh growth opportunities.

Much of what we do is increase efficiency because it drives business in the long run. It’s a slow burn, but it’s an expectation of constant incremental improvements customers should have of us.

The Advantage Network was born with this experience in mind.

Taking Full Advantage

Just like we pioneered drive-up banking in Sioux Falls, we also made the investment in the first ATM here in the early 1970s.

A wonderful teammate named Marge Brady was assigned to introduce the new technology to the banking public in Sioux Falls.

Marge Brady demonstrating the early Advantage ATM in Sioux Falls.

It was a technical marvel to customers, almost appearing like a banking robot straight from an episode of The Jetsons. Located in an outdoor vestibule, it was accessible 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Imagine going from banking Monday through Friday — with Saturday hours we were the first to implement as well — to working with a banking machine anytime you needed cash.

While this was another benefit to the customer experience, Marge knew the technology needed to scale well beyond a handful of locations.

So she suggested leveraging our ATM investment by doing something banks didn’t do: branding the ATM network separately from the Bank and soliciting other financial institutions to get on board.

We called it The Advantage Network.

Marge and her team signed up several competitors, started getting outside of Sioux Falls, and quickly grew the network. At one point, more than 100 financial institutions across South Dakota and Minnesota used the network.

Today, we are processing more transactions than ever — largely because of their work.

An Advantage ATM in Sioux Falls.

The modern-day Advantage ATM — iterations of which can be seen all around Sioux Falls and nearby communities.

Learn more about the history of The Advantage Network, or reach out to discover the benefits of becoming a member!