MADISON – Dane County has mandated masks at businesses while similar mandates are being discussed across the state. Safety and security collide when it comes to customers wearing masks, as banks are historically and understandably uncomfortable with people disguising their faces while in the bank. Out of an abundance of caution and to protect staff and customers, banks have historically prohibited masks and other face coverings. While that is no longer the case because of COVID-19, there are still things you should know before walking into your local bank.
“Banks’ highest priority is the health and safety of their customers and their staff,” said Rose Oswald Poels, president/CEO of the WBA. “Each bank will weigh its unique risks and determine their procedures for permitting customers to wear masks in jurisdictions that have a mask mandate. Customers should remember that banking services remain available online and through mobile applications as well as drive-throughs.”
As bank lobbies are reopening, bankers have already created guidelines related to masks. These guidelines may change depending on the location of the bank and local mask ordinances.
Bank customers should consider what their bank’s guidelines may be related to masks. WBA’s member banks are employing a variety of strategies, so customers may be asked to:
- Lower their mask for a few seconds while facing a security camera
- Lower their mask for a few seconds to allow staff to identify them
- Answer security/identification verification questions (similar to using phone banking services)
- Use the drive-through if they are unwilling or unable to comply with the bank’s guidelines for masks
WBA encourages consumers to contact their bank directly with specific questions about wearing masks and/or other face coverings in the branch.