ABSA Unveils ‘Futuristic Branch’

Imagine a branch where long queues are a thing of the past, even during traditionally busy periods, where innovation not only drives convenience, but also has tremendous environmental benefits; and technological advances support a safe and convenient 24-hour banking experience.

Such features are set to become the new standard in South African banking halls with the unveiling of Financial Services Group, Absa’s newly renovated Hyde Park branch.

It is a fresh look at a professional banking branch environment, aimed at ensuring an enhanced customer experience and supported by multi-skilled staff, technological improvements, innovative products and streamlined processes.

At the Hyde Park branch, customers are welcomed into a crisp, modern branch with digital marketing elements and LED lighting, where most financial transactions are paperless.

Innovations such as Quick Service Kiosks allow customers to perform complex banking activities without the need to queue, while the bank’s innovative Qmatic system uses a ticketing system to match a customer’s transactional requirements with the best skilled consultant who can provide the service in the shortest possible time. The customer is then directed to multi-skilled staff who are able to handle varied queries and transactional needs quickly and efficiently – all at the same counter.

To further improve the customer’s experience, the glass barriers which previously existed between customer and banker have been removed, while teller cash recycling machines allow for quick and accurate counting of cash while maintaining a highly secure environment.

These new banking innovations have been designed to appeal to customers across all segments.

Speaking at the launch, Absa Group CE Maria Ramos said: “I am proud to introduce this branch to our customers. It represents the new face of traditional banking. The result will be that we can deliver outstanding service to our customers, offering them an engagement that is faster and more efficient.”

The implementation of these innovations follows Absa’s research and development approach at numerous branches country wide, where various concepts are tested and fine tuned in a live transactional environment. The Hyde Park branch is the first branch where all of the results from the research come together in one unique package, with a roll out plan for other branches across the country to follow soon.

“The move towards a more technological branch augments the self-service banking which we have already introduced to support a 24-hour banking service. Customers are able to deposit cash and transact across our vast ATM network or access their banking in the comfort of their homes using cellphone and online banking platforms as well as our banking App, says Ramos.”

She concludes: “We are proud to complement our digital offering with the Hyde Park branch that simplifies customers’ relationship with the bank and makes banking an easier and more enjoyable experience.

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