Maine’s financial institutions on Tuesday sought to reassure customers about the ability to access their services while taking steps to limit physical contact.

The Maine Credit Union League and Maine Bankers Association issued a joint statement saying they have activated pandemic response plans and are working together to reassure Maine consumers about the safety and security of the state’s financial services industry.

Account access remains unchanged for credit and debit cards, checks, ATMs, digital banking and lending, and electronic payments, the two trade groups said.

“What may change is that in the days and weeks ahead, many financial institutions are emphasizing drive-through services and limiting access to their lobbies to protect the health of consumers and staff,” they said.

For example, all Bangor Savings Bank branches across Maine and New Hampshire will continue to provide normal drive-up teller and ATM service. But as of Wednesday, all branch lobbies and staff will be available by appointment only, the bank said.

“The changes to lobby access ensure that banking services and functions are available to customers while also allowing for the physical distancing recommended by health and safety officials,” Bangor Savings said in a statement.

Norway Savings told customers that it would switch to drive-up banking beginning Wednesday. It also said it would temporarily close the Maine Street branch in Brunswick because there are no drive-up services there.

Norway Savings said it hopes to reopen all lobbies in early April.

The trade groups highlighted the advantages of digital banking, which is accessed through a mobile or desktop device and allows credit unions and banks to serve consumers at any hour. Those services enable users to remotely check balances, transfer funds, make bill payments, apply for loans and deposit checks.

“We must do everything we can to limit the spread of coronavirus,” said Todd Mason, president and CEO of the Maine Credit Union League and Chris Pinkham, president of the Maine Bankers Association, in a joint statement. “That’s why our organizations are collaborating to educate the public about all of the secure and fully insured banking options available to them every day, and especially during this challenging time.”


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