First National Bank of Northfield Completes Systems Conversion and Name Change to Merchants Bank

Merchants Bank - Northfield locations

First National Bank of Northfield is now officially Merchants Bank, according to Tim Viere, President for Merchants Bank-Northfield.

The computer systems conversion took place starting Friday, May 15. First National closed at 4:00 p.m. on the 15th and opened as Merchants Bank on Monday, May 18. When Merchants Bank lobbies reopen, both Bank locations will continue to be open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The South drive-up facility will also continue its regular hours of Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Bank phone numbers will remain the same.

“The same friendly, experienced professionals you worked with at First National Bank now look forward to serving you as Merchants Bank. We appreciate your loyalty during this transition and are excited to share the benefits of being a Merchants Bank customer with you – including new services, enhanced digital banking tools, 23 branch locations and the ongoing commitment to community that the Merchants organization is known for,” said Viere.

Merchants Financial Group, Inc., the parent company for Merchants Bank, acquired the First National Bank of Northfield on August 31, 2019 and continued operating it as a separate bank charter until systems conversion the weekend of May 15. The two banking locations in Northfield are located at 329 Division Street and 1611 Honey Locust Drive.

Merchants Bank is a community bank headquartered in Winona, MN and established in 1875. As a true community partner, Bank staff volunteer more than 15,000 hours annually to the communities Merchants Bank serves. With the systems conversion complete, Merchants Bank now has 23 locations and one loan production office. Merchants is owned largely by its employees and local community members and is the fifth-largest banking organization headquartered in the state of Minnesota with more than $2.1 billion in assets.

Congratulations, New and Promoted Staff


We are happy to have these new employees on our team! If you’re interested in working with these local experts, find your branch.

New Staff

Cadi Beavers Cadi Beavers, Teller, Rosemount
Drew Carter Drew Carter, Electronic Banking Specialist, Winona
Steve Christopherson Steve Christopherson, Commercial Banking Manager, Winona
Jon Dahl Jon Dahl, Market President, Cannon Falls
GietyrchAnna Anna Giertych, Teller, Onalaska
Halle Hustad Halle Hustad, Teller, Cannon Falls
Jarett Jones Jarett Jones, Commercial Banker, Rochester – Northwest
Casey McCarraher Casey McCarraher, Teller, St. Charles
Kallee Nelson Kallee Nelson, Customer Service Representative/Lending Assistant, Lanesboro
Becky Porter Becky Porter, Teller, Hastings
SchoenerColleen Colleen Schoener, Customer Assistance/Vault Assistant
Stephen Swenson Stephen Swenson, Chief Information Officer, Winona
Morgan Wright Morgan Wright, Teller, Eau Claire
Sheila Vokoun Sheila Vokoun, Teller, Rochester – Green Meadows

Transfers and Promotions

Maralee Berg Maralee Berg, Retail Lending Assistant, Winona
Karley Brink Karley Brink, Personal Banker, St. Charles
Josh Broom Josh Broom, Mortgage Closing Specialist, Winona
Kayla Reimer Kayla Reimer, Project Manager, Winona
Matt Rodenburg Matt Rodenburg, Customer Service Representative, Winona
Nathan West Nathan West, Credit Analyst/Officer, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance

Online & Mobile Banking: FAQs


We’d like to extend a very warm and heartfelt thank you to the over 20,000 customers who have logged in to our new Online & Mobile Banking system. We know that change doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road, and we so appreciate your patience with the new system and our staff while call volume was high.

We wanted to provide answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as highlight some convenient features you may not be aware of in Online & Mobile Banking.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is a security enhancement that will confirm your identity through a code to your mobile device, phone call or personal security questions when you log in for the first time from a new device or unknown internet connection. Learn more about this process.

How do I make a mobile deposit?

Mobile deposit allows you to deposit a check without having to go to the Bank. Access Mobile Deposit with the latest version of the Merchants Mobile Banking app.

    1. From the menu, select Deposits.
    2. Select Account.
    3. Enter the Amount.
    4. Snap a Picture / Endorse Your Check.
      Take a clear picture of the check front, then flip it over. Endorse the check “For Deposit Only to Merchants Bank” and then take a picture of the back of the check.
    5. Choose the Deposit button.
    6. Confirmation.

What are the mobile deposit transaction guidelines?

  • $2,500 limit per check
  • $2,500 mobile deposit limit per day
  • May deposit up to 10 checks per day
  • $5,000 mobile deposit limit per month
  • May deposit up to 20 checks per month
  • Limits are not independent of each other. For example, if you deposit 10 checks for $100 each in one day, you have reached your per day limit of 10 checks even though you have not reached your total daily mobile deposit limit of $2,500.

What if I can’t see the menu when I log in from my computer?

Our Online Banking system adapts to whichever device you use to log in, whether that’s a computer, tablet or mobile phone. This adaptation, also known as responsive design, can affect how you are able to access the menu.

If you log in on your computer and the menu seems to have disappeared or collapsed into three white bars on the right side of your screen, you may need to adjust the size of your browser. To do this find the Zoom option in your browser menu or press the CTRL and minus or plus keys on your keyboard at the same time.

To zoom in: CTRL and +
To zoom out: CTRL and –

Tips and Highlights:

External Transfers (transfers to a non-Merchants Bank account): You can easily set up external transfers to accounts you own outside of Merchants Bank using this feature. Depending on the other financial institution’s set up, you may be able to choose instant verification to confirm your account ownership immediately or micro deposit verification to confirm your account ownership within a few business days. Once ownership is confirmed, you can make external transfer happen same day, schedule in advance or schedule them to repeat based on your preference.

Alerts: with this feature you can set up various kinds of notifications for transactions in and out of your accounts (checking, savings, lines of credit and loans), as well as profile updates. Get started with our top five alerts, including “Debit transaction was posted,” and “Account balance above/below threshold,” and over 20 more to chose from!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: If you’ve had updates to your primary contact information, please let us know! We are better able to serve you when we have your updated phone number and email address. You can make sure we have your current information by logging into your online banking and clicking on the “Profile” tab and then “Profile Updates.”

Log into your online banking to check out these sections and make sure you’re getting the most out of the system! Once again, thank you for your patience, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your local branch.

Welcome, Northfield!

Merchants Bank-Northfield Locations


We are excited and honored to welcome our new customers in Northfield to Merchants Bank. We are grateful for the opportunity to help you with your banking needs and do not take lightly our responsibility to carry on the legacy of the First National Bank of Northfield.

All of us at Merchants Bank look forward to serving you and carrying on the tradition of community leadership the First National Bank has practiced since 1872. We will work to earn your trust and anticipate helping you with all of your financial needs. Our goal during this transition is to make it as easy as possible for you.

The Same, Friendly Faces

As we’ve gotten to know the First National Bank of Northfield, we’ve learned how the bank and its people have impacted the Northfield community.  As a community bank, we know that supporting the community is one of the most important things we do. As you may have noticed, we have retained many of the friendly faces you’ve come to know from the First National Bank of Northfield, including Tim Viere who is now President for Merchants Bank locations in Northfield. You can see your Northfield team here.

At Merchants, we understand that the Northfield community and surrounding area are extremely important to the economic vitality of our region. We also recognize that the collective growth and future of the region starts with each of you, the individuals and businesses that make this area special.

About Merchants

We believe Merchants Bank is unique in the banking industry. From our humble beginnings in 1875 in Winona, we have grown into an organization of more than $2 billion in assets with 21 bank locations and a commercial equipment finance division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance. Our locations in Northfield are now our 22nd and 23rd.

With this growth, we have the resources to finance most types of loans for qualified applicants. More important is that we have maintained our community banking identity. We know our customers by their names and treat them the way we would want to be treated. You can expect that we will work with you to continue to make the Northfield community a better place to live, work and play, just as we do in all communities served by Merchants.

We Look Forward to Serving You

We look forward to showing you why Merchants Bank has earned the reputation as a true community bank, the bank that service built. We look forward to serving you and earning your ongoing confidence. Thank for giving us the opportunity to continue to earn your trust as you get to know Merchants Bank.

Visit our website to learn more about Merchants Bank and how we can help you reach your financial goals.

Jarett Jones Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker

Jarett Jones, Commercial Banker

Jarett Jones has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker, according to Dan Nistler, President for Merchants Bank in Rochester.

“We’re pleased to be expanding our business team in Rochester to serve the needs of local businesses as a trusted financial advisor. With Merchants’ growth in Rochester, Jarett’s knowledge of the local market will be an asset as we continue to help business clients navigate the economic changes at this time,” said Nistler.

Jones brings more than 20 years of commercial and small business banking experience in the Rochester and Southern Minnesota markets to Merchants Bank. He was previously a Commercial Banking Team Lead and Business Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo in Rochester and also worked for Eastwood Bank (now part of Bremer Bank) in Stewartville.

“I’m looking forward to serving clients through Merchants community-focused approach. I want to do my part as a community banker to help our local businesses during this time,” said Jones.

Jones is a graduate of Winona State University and Rochester Community College and is an active volunteer in several communities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Stewartville Nursing Home and the Winona Area Industrial Development Association. In addition, he is a volunteer firefighter for the Stewartville Fire Department. He, his wife and two daughters reside in Stewartville. During the winter, he is an avid snowmobiler and enjoys downhill skiing with this family.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag banking, SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to approval.

Savings Steps

Clock and save money note

Some things to do if you don’t have a savings account

According to a recent study, 27 percent of Americans have no savings. Don’t let that number include you. Here are some steps to take to start a savings account and get moving in the right direction.

Budget Time

If you don’t have a budget or aren’t sticking to one, it’s difficult to save money. You don’t know where your money is going, so there’s no way to cut back and use that cash to pad a savings account. As USA Today reports, once you have your budget set, you can see how much you can save. If there’s no wiggle room, you need to reduce expenses.

One Big Cut

Speaking of reducing expenses, don’t focus just on the small things. Cutting your weekly lunch out, which you enjoy and ultimately isn’t that expensive, won’t give a big boost to your savings. Instead, try cutting one big expense. Maybe you can move to a smaller apartment. If you live in a city, maybe you can sell your car and use a bike supplementing with Uber or public transportation. Whatever you choose, take the money you would’ve spent on that big item and put it into savings.

Set It

Finally, one easy way to add savings is to take away the choice. In other words, set your bank accounts up to automatically deposit some money into a savings account every payday. Instead of looking at one account and deciding how much to put into savings, the work is already done for you. You won’t miss money you don’t have.

Article written by Chris O’Shea, originally published by SavvyMoney.