Two major banks, for a combination of reasons, will have fewer automatic teller machines in Massachusetts.
Bank of America Corp., the state’s largest bank, has reduced the number of ATMs it has in the Bay State by about 50, or 4 percent, to 1,203 over the last year. Webster Bank, one of the largest banks based in New England, recently decided to end an agreement to keep its brand name on 140 ATMs in Walgreens drugstores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
Bank of America recently lost a contract with McDonald’s to provide ATMs at 11 rest stops along the Massachusetts Turnpike. An independent ATM operator now operates the machines under Citibank’s brand. Bank of America will also lose two of its 11 ATM locations at Logan International Airport in Boston in November after the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the airport, sought new bids for all its ATM leases.
In addition, Bank of America recently severed an agreement to provide ATMs at Simon Malls across the country, such as South Shore Plaza in Braintree and the Burlington Mall, part of the bank’s efforts to streamline operations.
The bank also has closed branches, which typically include ATMs, to become more efficient. Last year, the bank announced plans to close roughly 750 of 5,700 branches nationwide over the next few years. It has closed a half-dozen in Massachusetts.
Even so, Bank of America remains the largest ATM provider in the state by a wide margin. Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace said the company plans to expand its network of ATMs across the country to “ensure our customers have access when and where they need it.”
Meanwhile, Webster’s regional president, Paul Mollica, said the Connecticut bank decided not to renew the contract for ATMs in Walgreens — which expires early next year — to focus on running its own machines. The Walgreens ATMs are operated by an independent ATM operator, Cardtronics, which in turn signed the branding agreement with Webster.
The agreement provided Webster with more exposure while allowing its customers to get cash without paying fees.
“The bank is spending a considerable amount of money updating its own ATM network, so we decided to use the money toward that end,” Mollica said.
Webster has closed 14 branches since the beginning of 2011, including one in Massachusetts; it has 167 branches in four states, including two dozen in Massachusetts.
But Mollica said the bank continues to consider expanding in Massachusetts, either by making acquisitions or opening branches. Webster has 25 workers in its Boston office, up from 11 when it opened the office three years ago in the old Boston Stock Exchange building.