Jul 13 2008
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Re. the previous event item, The Bank of Maryville was a Blount Co. institution for nearly 100 years. It was founded, I believe, in 1885, and was acquired by First Tennessee in 1983. (If anyone knows of a detailed history, please send it my way!)

I worked there sometime in the late 1970s as a computer operator, and again in the early 1980s as the Systems Programmer (the guy who kept their mainframe computer operating systems up and running).

From a technology standpoint, the Bank of Maryville was pretty innovative for a small town community bank. Among other things, they had the first ATM in Blount Co., and maybe in East Tennessee. They also had an automated "voice response" system that tellers could dial on the phone to get account balances and other info, and area auto dealers could call in and get loan payoff amounts. This was all in the late 1970s before anyone had heard of the internet, online banking etc.

They had their own in-house developed computerized banking system, which was practically unheard of for a community bank in those days. It featured a consolidated, online "customer information system" that let bank employees view everything about a customer and all their accounts on one screen, which was also unheard of in terms of a customer service tool at a community bank back then.

The Bank of Maryville also had a sophisticated check processing system for a bank their size. The ability to clear checks quickly and reduce "float" saves and makes banks a bunch of money. (That, combined with their state-of-the-art data center in Alcoa -- only minutes from the airport -- was no doubt part of the attraction for First Tennessee, who eventually set up their regional check processing center there.)

One of my last projects there was helping convert all that to a sophisticated mainframe computer system, similar to what mega-banks like First Tennessee run today.

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