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Waterbury Senior Goes High Tech at VSECU

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Who says the world of high technology is just for the young? Francis Vaughn of Waterbury would certainly disagree. At age 92, Francis is a weekly visitor at VSECU’s new Waterbury branch office where he regularly uses the personal teller service, an innovative banking technology VSECU has installed in two of its branch offices.

In January, VSECU opened its new branch at 27 S. Main St., relocating from Waterbury’s state office complex. In the previous location, VSECU members like Francis conducted their business with the credit union at the teller window in the traditional manner.

Staff members are still on hand in the branch to assist members, but the teller window has been replaced with the personal teller service. The personal teller connects credit union members to a live teller who is viewed and heard through a video screen and audio speaker, but the teller is located in VSECU’s main office in Montpelier. The teller is able to serve both the Waterbury branch and the personal teller installed in the new Brattleboro branch.

Francis admits he was baffled when he first approached the personal teller. “I didn’t know what to make of it, those machines and all,” he said, “but I learned how to use them, and now I think it’s great.”

Francis conducts his business with VSECU just as he did at the previous branch but through the personal teller. He is able to make deposits and withdrawals, check account balances, transfer money and ask questions about his accounts. For Francis, one of the advantages is that he does not have to fill out paper deposit and withdrawal slips. He just punches in his account number and other information using the keypad, and he can slide checks into the scanner without using a deposit envelope.

A Vermont native who has lived in Waterbury since the early 1940s, Francis has been a VSECU member since “way, way back, almost as long as there has been a credit union.” Still very active at 92, Francis can be seen walking his black Labrador Buster around town, although friends say Buster appears to be walking Francis at times.

Francis says that when he enters the branch, he goes directly to the personal teller. He enjoys chatting via the video screen with the tellers, Debra and Sally, who greet him by name as soon as they see his face. “The staff in the office has had to help me a couple of times, but now it’s really easy to use,” he said.