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FINANCE: Banking Customers Embracing In-branch Digital Banking Channels


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BANKING customers who traditionally bank via branches are embracing in-branch digital banking channels, says First National Bank (FNB).

The bank says its customers are increasingly using its spread of in-branch Digital Zones and free WiFi. Significantly, branch personnel are also able to help customers download the bank’s zero rated App to conduct most transactions they would ordinarily conduct via service tellers.

Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB Points of Presence, says “Digital Zones are dedicated areas within a branch, fully equipped with online terminals and WiFi to enable customers to activate and access their preferred digital banking platform and transact with or without the assistance of a branch consultant (eBanker). The growing appetite for Digital Zones rests primarily on the ease, cost effectiveness and convenience associated with banking via the bank’s digital platforms.”

“Nearly 80% of our branches have Digital Zones supported by a dedicated eBanker who is tasked with optimising the customer experience. An eBanker bridges the gap between technology and human interaction as some customers may still need help with some aspects.”

In the three months to June 2017, there was a 38% increase in the number of customers downloading the Banking App via FNB branches and customers registered on online banking platforms at branch was up 14% and Cell Phone banking adoption grew by 13% in the same period. Easy access to the App is made possible through WiFi connectivity available in 90% of FNB’s branch network. In essence, this points to a growing preference of non-conventional banking channels.

“We have also seen customers spend less time in the branch as they adopt digital alternatives to banking and the spinoff has been realized in the easing of foot traffic in telling and general service activities. Overall we are able to assist customers more efficiently,” adds van Zyl

The presence of eBankers in our branch network has been instrumental in ensuring that the adoption of digital banking is paired with customer education.

The use of Digital Zones is testimony to the fact that customers are open to alternative forms of banking that are not only cost effective, but convenient as well.

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