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StatePoint) From digital payments to video banking, the way consumers conduct basic financial transactions has changed substantially throughout the past decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the trend toward digital banking. However, brick-and-mortar bank branches continue to play an essential role for many consumers when it comes to important financial conversations. Industry experts say more changes are coming down the pike to meet consumers’ evolving needs and to provide the right mix of digital tools and experiences, with more personalized human interactions at brick-and-mortar bank locations.
  Leading the charge in implementing some of these changes is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, PNC, which is embarking on a multi-year conversion of its retail branch network in response to feedback and insights gleaned from its customers. Between May 2022 and the end of 2026, more than 60% of its 2,600 branches nationwide will convert to a new format. Basic financial transactions will begin to be completed using automated or self-service solutions, such as ATMs and video banking, freeing bankers’ time to hold more in-depth conversations and truly engage with customers in offering financial advice, expertise, and solutions to help them meet their financial goals.
  “We remain committed to making a positive difference for our customers and communities, and to helping all move forward financially,” says Kevin McCann, retail growth and innovation executive for PNC. “We believe the balance we will be striking between physical and digital banking will allow us to meet our customers where they are by providing that sweet spot of convenient digital tools and meaningful side-by-side personal interactions.”
  Those who are less comfortable with the latest technologies and who may be feeling anxious about these changes can put their concerns aside, according to McCann, who notes that bankers also will be available to spend time helping customers understand the digital tools available to them, within and outside of the branch.
  To learn more about the evolution of branch banking, visit
  At a time when both physical facilities and digital tools are critical to banking customers, a new way forward is emerging.

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Shop smart and spend less this
back-to-school season
(StatePoint) As summer nights shorten and the school year approaches, you may be looking for ways to reduce the stress and costs of back-to-school preparations and ease into a new routine.
  Thankfully, the experts at Dollar General are offering families suggestions for an easy and affordable return to classes.
School Supplies
  Start by separating and categorizing students’ supplies lists and compare to items that may be left over from the previous school year. To pick up needs in one easy stop, visit a local Dollar General to purchase school supplies that are colorful and cost-effective, with over 100 back-to-school items priced at $1 or less. School and classroom essentials may include notebooks, coloring supplies, backpacks, a reusable water bottle and more. Additionally, a variety of hand sanitizers starting at $1 can be easily placed into lunchboxes, desks, pencil cases or given to school staff to help stop the spread of germs.
  For teachers who want to save big in 2022, sign up for a DG account and get verified for 30% off qualified items on up to four shopping trips through September 9, 2022. Additionally customers can save $3 on qualifying $15 or more supply purchases in the stationery, cleaning and paper, and houseware categories through September 9, 2022. All offers are available through DG Digital Coupons online and in the DG App, where customers can load coupons and rewards on an easy-to-use platform and redeem them at checkout. 
Healthier Eating
  Back-to-school also means after school activities such as clubs and athletics. While juggling practices, rehearsals and club meetings, consider packing healthier snacks to support a busy schedule. Meal prep can also be helpful on busy days, and Dollar General’s DG Easy Meals provides access to simple recipes with affordable ingredients to make breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner easy and stress-free. Entrees like Pecan-Crusted Salmon or Buffalo Chicken Pizza can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat. Dollar General also offers Better For You recipes that provide healthier meal options featuring ingredients available at DG stores.
Organization Necessities
  As the school year begins and schedules fill up, some find it harder to stay organized. Use a customizable planner or calendar to remind you of pick-up times, parent-teacher conferences and other important appointments. These tools are also great for high school or college students managing a new class schedule. Write out chores on a dry erase board, which can be secured to the side of the fridge, to keep track of daily duties. Finally, if your surfaces tend to collect clutter, a large canvas storage container can be a great way to keep items together for a quick cleanup. 
  With these back-to-school tips and tricks, you can send students of all ages to their classes prepared with everything on the list, all while saving time and money in the process.

What consumers need to know about the 
future of in-person banking