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South Africa: Absa Branches Out Paperless Banking
Source: http://www.itweb.co.za/
Source Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Jul 18, 2013

Speaking at the unveiling last night, Absa Group chief executive, Maria Ramos, said the bank had chosen Hyde Park to showcase what it believes is a “game-changing retail experience”.

“We have introduced some new technologies and processes that have been through a trial run in our Clearwater Mall test lab. We are confident that we have selected the best of what is new and innovating in the retail banking space to put into the Hyde Park branch,” she said.

Some of the new tech innovations include Qmatic, which allows customers to be directed to the queue where they can be served the quickest by the person who is competent in the product or service they want.

Ramos added that multi-skilled staff members allow Absa to combine the teller and customer service functions, to save customers time and the trouble of instituting different transactions at different counters.

Absa has also removed the glass barriers, which previously existed between customer and banker, from its Hyde Park branch. Teller cash recycling machines allow for quick and accurate counting of cash while maintaining a secure environment, it says.

Chief executive for Absa retail and business banking Africa, Craig Bond, said the Hyde Park branch is going to be the model for branches across the rest of the country and across the African continent. “The key element of the Hyde Park branch is that everything is done without any paper in the branch.”
He added that by the end of this year, most of the major shopping centres in SA will have Absa branches that have the same look and feel.

Banking in the app
Absa’s banking app has reached R1 billion in transactions and 100 000 downloads since it was released just over 50 days ago.
Absa’s app was unveiled 21 months after First National Bank launched SA’s first banking app. Absa missed its self-imposed Q1 2013 deadline by 10 days. According to the Absa team, the app had been in the making for about two years and used internally by Absa staff members since the end of 2012.
From the home-screen – without having to login – the app provides lump sum investment and savings calculators, which give customers a quick look at their investment returns. There is also a real-time currency indicator.
The app is available to Absa customers on Android, iOS and BlackBerry Z10.

The trend
Last week, Nedbank showcased its third ‘branch of the future’ in Hyde Park. The branch forms part of the Nedbank Integrated Channel Strategy, which aims to provide clients with a choice of channels to do their banking.
The branches offer video banking and waiting areas equipped with free WiFi, Internet stations and iPads; allowing clients to work within the branch while doing their banking.

Clients will be able to make use of the Nedbank PocketPO, which it says is the first live EMV-certified mobile point-of-sale solution in SA, and enables businesses to process debit and credit card transactions by using a smartphone connected to a secure card reader.
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