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My Newest Bank is Changing Names: TD Commerce Bank to Update Branding Later This Year

This article was written by in Banking. 10 comments.

A few months ago, my girlfriend moved her checking and savings accounts, which where previously in separate, small, community-based banks, to Commerce Bank, a larger bank based mostly in New Jersey and New York City. I particularly like their long hours and the fact that they’re open on Sunday, and signed up for an account myself, given the branch’s proximity to my home.

When she signed up for an account, the sales representative let us know that the bank would soon be merged with TD Bank Financial Group and would become “TD Commerce Bank.” My biggest concern would be the stability of the level of service, but they assured us that nothing would change. I am hoping to see some improvements in their website technology but that may be asking too much.

The deal is done, but the branches have not yet started to change their branding and signage. That is scheduled to begin later this year. So far, I’ve seen no changes in service.

Yesterday, I received a letter from the President & CEO of Commerce Bank, and I would expect all of their customers received one as well. The letter contains self-praise for the current bank’s reputation for service as well as assurance that nothing other than the name and logo will change. The envelope also contained a pamphlet with questions and answers about the acquisition.

There are some interesting notes.

Will my accounts and services change? It’s business as usual, for now. There is no action required on your part and all your existing accounts, terms and agreements remain the same. You can continue to bank the way you do today, at any convenient Commerce location, over the phone, or online. We will keep you informed of changes that make impact you.

The last sentence is the most important point. There will be changes in the future, and at some point you may have to select a new savings or checking product in order to avoid fees. This is common in bank mergers in my experience; they want to move customers from legacy products and systems into whatever new products are available.

What is happening to the Penny Arcades in my Commerce store? Your Penny Arcades will continue to be available. We look forward to making more Penny Arcades available in the future through the new TD Commerce Bank locations.

The “Penny Arcade” is a large coin sorting machine. If you are a customer, you can bring bags of coins into your local branch, dump them into a machine which will then count your money, take a receipt to the teller, and deposit your funds or receive cash. I brought in a bag of nickels and the machine’s count was off by $0.05, and I’ve seen coins being left uncounted on a tray inside the machine before, so I don’t know if I fully trust this technology. But it is convenient.

Commerce gives treats to my kids and my dog, will you be changing this? No! We love your kids and your pets. You can continue to bank at the same locations and get the same great service you currently enjoy. This includes treats for the kids and your dog.

First, I’ve never seen anyone bring a dog into a bank branch. Is this common, outside of seeing eye dogs (who would not likely be allowed to take a treat)? Second, they love our kids?

Published or updated May 28, 2008.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

I don’t think I’ve ever been through the bank drive-through with my dogs (I don’t think I’ve been through a bank drive-through at all in years), but I believe it’s traditional to receive a dog biscuit in your return pneumatic delivery if the teller sees/hears one in the car with you. Possibly the same applies to children, though with any luck it’s something better than a dog biscuit.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

TD & Banknorth & Waterhouse or something took over my bank which was originally a Peoples Bank. there have been two or three acquisitions since i opened my account. i have not seen any changes to my accounts (i have checking and savings; don’t worry, i also have ING direct) and online is great, but my bank may have started out with better online service than yours to begin with (sounds like). now Peoples is called TD Banknorth.

the only difference would be that my company’s business accounts (i manage all 5 of them) are at the same bank and at some point a good bank employee brought to my attn we could change some to different acct types and save some fees (saved $10/mo on most accts). over the years i have noticed various fees going up like by $1 or more at a time with regularity, but one always hopes they will not get charged these fees (overdrawn, etc). the business accts are at risk for these (thru no fault of mine, boss likes to take more risks than i am comfortable with btw), not my personal ones though, i avoid all fees successfully with my own.

hope your bank’s being swallowed doesn’t cause you grief though.

oh, i totally don’t trust those coin counting machines (such as the penny arcade)!!!! i’d rather buy a little one for $50 or less than be stiffed of that…..

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I often combine a dog walking trip with a bank run…it’s convienent.

As far as those coin counting machines go – if you’ve got a reasonable amount of change, you might as well roll it yourself and bring it in…that way if it’s off at least it’s your fault. If you are bringing in hundreds of pounds of change…a few missed coins is worth the savings in time…

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avatar 4 Anonymous

ok, ok — got the letters today. yep, TD Commerce Bank; changed name for all….

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avatar 5 Anonymous

I went to a conference with some TD Commerce product developers and product managers earlier this year – based on what they told me, their biggest concern about the Commerce acquistion is the service level customer’s expect. I suspect that over the next couple of years, your going to see either an increase in fees (those coin counting machines are expensive to maintain), or a drop in service. Profitability and margin are a big deal – especially in this economy. I bet they keep giving out the doggie biscuts, but you’ll see cuts in other areas.

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I’ve seen Commerce aggressively expand earlier this decade throughout New Jersey. A lot of my friends have converted but I’ve always stuck with First Union, now Wachovia. I was pretty happy with the fact that there were no noticeable changes beyond the fact that the local branch basically got demolished and rebuilt.

I’ve never seen anyone take their dog into the bank before. maybe New Jersey is just weird like that.

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avatar 7 Luke Landes

Lyn: Great point about the drive-up window. I haven’t even considered that. It must be 20 years since I’ve used a drive-up teller window. Similarly, I haven’t ordered drive-through fast food in that many years either. I figure I might as well get out of the car if the bank’s open.

Juggler314: I normally “roll my own” but those machines look fun. Plus, at Commerce, if you guess your total and come within a $1, they’ll give you a “prize.” Since I counted mine before bringing them in, I was only off by $0.05 (probably due to a miscalculation on their part.

Heidi: Good info, thanks for sharing.

Jennson: My main checking account was at New Jersey National Bank, bought by CoreStates, bought by First Union, bought by Wachovia. That account dates back to when I was a teenager. It’s not that I’m fiercely loyal; it’s free. I opened the Commerce account for a little variety, service on Sundays, and access to more tellers for occasional coin collecting.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

what was the “prize”???
: )

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avatar 9 Anonymous

I go through the drive through several times a year and once in awhile have one or all my dogs with me. They LOVE to get treats when the little thing comes back from the chute. And the tellers always love to see my babies. =)

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avatar 10 Luke Landes

ib: The “prize” was a blue clip. If I remember, I’ll take a photograph.

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