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A preview of easy banking

In February of 1979, Bank of Montreal opened the first television banking outlet in Western Canada at the Winnipeg Main Branch. This early example of BMO investing in innovation to become a digital banking leader featured a month-long advertisement campaign in preparation for the unveiling. In addition to creating promotional material, including more than 20,000 illustrated brochures, the bank hosted a competition where branch customers could win one of three colour television sets.

Image: TV Banking promotional brochure, 1979.

The TV Banking outlet was conveniently located in a pedestrian concourse underneath the Winnipeg Main Branch, which was used by residents to get around the city with comfort and ease, especially during the harsh winters. At the outlet, customers spoke to tellers through colour television screens and conducted transactions through a pneumatic tube system. Most transactions took less than one minute, providing a hassle-free experience even before online banking.

BMO has continued this Digital First mindset today, launching a number of industry-leading platforms and award-winning programs all designed to make banking easier and help customers make real financial progress.

Image: Photograph of Bank of Montreal TV Banking outlet located on the concourse level at First Bank Square, Portage & Main, Winnipeg Main Office, 1979.