South African bank Absa has unveiled a branch that helps clients step into the future. The new “Branch of Tomorrow, Today” is located at Clearwater Mall, just outside Johannesburg.
In ensuring that the customer’s voice remains the driving force behind banking initiatives, Absa will use this branch as a test lab to develop innovative products and processes prior to rolling these out across its entire branch network.
Using this model, Absa seeks to create a more interactive environment for customers whilst promoting and testing new ways of banking.
This “Test Lab Branch” concept will focus on prototyping technology, streamlined processes and strategically placed interactive digital media, whilst at the same time affording Absa the opportunity to test concepts within a live environment.
Speaking at the media launch, Bobby Malabie, Chief Executive of Absa Retail and Business Banking, says: “This innovative branch is a glimpse of the future of retail banking in South Africa. It is tangible evidence of what our customers have said they want. This Branch of Tomorrow, Today, shows that Absa is actively listening and responding to customer needs and finding ways to meet their needs through simple and innovative banking solutions.”
The new outlet, which is aimed at ensuring an enhanced customer experience, introduces a fresh look at a professional branch environment. The various areas in the branch will allow customers to benefit from innovative and state of the art equipment and processes. This will be further supported by a highly skilled staff complement that will assist customers with all their requests.
Absa’s Branch of Tomorrow, Today, has been in operation since 1 June 2012. Since the branch opened, innovations such as Quick Service Enquiries and interactive touch-screens have been tested, while educating customers on how to use the new systems in the branch.
“Quick Service Enquiries allows customers to conclude low complexity activities without traditional queuing, whilst the new interactive touch-screens are not just big-screen TV’s, these are digital devices designed to make doing business with Absa much easier. With a slight touch of the screen, information about Absa promotions and specials are at one’s fingertips,” explains Arrie Rautenbach, Absa Head of Retail Markets.
He says Absa’s branch concept is not about “dazzling” customers with innovations, but more about launching services that are relevant to the bank’s more than 12-million retail customers in South Africa.
“The Absa Branch of Tomorrow, Today bridges the gap between the ever-growing customer banking needs and making banking more accessible, yet affordable to the masses. By pioneering this research and development capability at Clearwater Mall branch, Absa has confirmed its position as a leader in banking and financial services,” concludes Rautenbach.