Hanna Barry
1 minute read
20 Mar 2014
6:00 am

Bank branches turn over new leaf with apps

Hanna Barry

Enabling staff members at a bank to be as mobile and tech savvy as the customers they serve is a trend emerging from the most innovative "banks of the future", SunGard, the world's largest unlisted IT firm, says.

Picture: Supplied.

In an interview with Business ahead of the Cards and Payments Africa conference taking place this week in Johannesburg, Dean Young, vice president of product management for SunGard retail banking, highlighted banks’ focus on improving customer experience by ensuring it is as consistent as possible across all channels.

“Whether you’re on a mobile device, tablet, PC or in a branch, the look, feel and experience must be the same to build customer trust and confidence,” Young explained. He pointed out that while innovation and investment into digital strategies was crucial for banks, evident in their multi-channel strategies, if customers have a bad branch experience they would still consider the bank’s service poor.

“Customers continue to rate and value face-to-face interaction above digital interaction. If banks want to offer an effective omni-channel experience, they must back-up self service channels with investments into branches and particularly, the staff in those branches,” Young emphasised.

George Kaloutas, mobile solutions and sales leader for NCR Middle East and Africa, said that new banking channels were changing the look of branches by deciding how they would like to interact with their bank and this needed to be acknowledged.

Young said branch staff needed tools like apps (SunGard has developed an app called Concierge) to enable them to keep up with customer expectations arising from the “omni-channel experience.