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The Bank Drive-Through Makes a COVID Comeback

Long before ATMs and online banking, drive-through lanes were a popular customer convenience by the 1950s. The digital age threatened survival of the mechanical systems, built on 19th-century technology, but COVID-19 has started to reverse their declining fortunes. Banks are reopening decommissioned and unused lanes. Some are installing new ones.

Banks, though, have been closing their drive-through lanes for at least a decade, said Andrew Hovet, director at Novantas, a financial-services research firm.

Mr. Hovet, of the financial-services firm Novantas, said, “There is still this segment of branch-centric customers who want to go to a teller. And the only one available is at the drive-through.”

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