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Bank of America pulling ATMs out of shopping malls, gas stations | Business

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Bank of America pulling ATMs out of shopping malls, gas stations

ATLANTA -- Brian Moynihan's pruning shears have turned to Bank of America's ATM network.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank recently ended its deal to operate ATMs in Simon mall properties and Valero gas stations, according to Bloomberg's BusinessWeek. That means BofA cash machines at Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza, Northlake Mall, Town Center at Cobb, Discover Mills, Mall of Georgia and North Georgia Premium Outlets - all Simon properties - will be removed.

Bank of America is metro Atlanta's third largest bank with $19.5 billion in local deposits and 145 branches.

It's part of a 9% reduction in ATMs across BofA's franchise in the first half of the year. Through June, BofA has slashed its automated teller network by 1,536 to 16,220 still in operation, according to filings.

Bloomberg explains the move as part of Project New BAC, the bank's ongoing cost-cutting and streamlining initiative.

According to Bloomberg: Bank of America chose to pull most of its ATMs at malls and gas stations in part because those devices only dispensed cash and weren't available 24 hours a day, spokeswoman Anne Pace said in an interview. Customers want to be able to deposit checks at an ATM, she said. "It's about convenience and access, that's what the customers are looking for," Pace said. "People aren't banking 9 to 5, they are banking when it's convenient for them."

In addition, BofA announced that credit cards with an embedded microprocessor chip that encrypts and stores the account information will be made available to consumers starting this week. Users of some card programs will be upgraded automatically, while others will have the technology available on request.

The technology is said to be more secure, especially for international travelers, than the traditional magnetic strip on the backs of most cards.