BancABC this afternoon launched Branch X – a virtual branch allowing customers to conduct all banking transactions through video and telephone banking services.
Customers will interface with a teller face to face and perform their banking transactions as if they were in a branch and is among the many digital innovations the bank is rolling out this year.
Branch X offers two types of digital banking services, Video and Telephone Banking.
- Customers can reach a Branch X agent by dialling 08677008667.
- Customers can interact face to face with an agent, through Skype or Video call. (Plans are at an advanced stage to add WhatsApp videos to the available video options.)
Customers are able to do Internal Transfers, RTGS Payments, Balance Enquiries & Bill Payments. The service also allows customers to load their remittance receipts directly onto their Prepaid VISA Card.
Interestingly, BancABC believes their customers want an emotional connection that simply isn’t offered by digital channels such as apps thus they’ve offered this more personal service;
The closure of branches has led to a decrease in customers visiting the branch and an increase in electronic transactions, However, digital channels alone do not address the emotional connection customers want when doing a banking transaction.BancABC press statement
I found this assessment pretty interesting because I’ve always thought people find human interaction awkward and intimidating at times but ultimately this is one of those things that will depend on an individual. Some will like the personal touch whilst others prefer the non-human interaction.
As part of our digitisation journey, we have been looking at new innovations to offer banking differently to our customers, the current COVID-19 crisis has allowed us to accelerate our plans to response to the changes in the delivery of banking services worldwide. Branch X is an exciting new innovation offering our customers a personalised virtual experience from the comfort of their homes. We may be in lockdown, but business must go on.
Overall Branch X is an interesting concept that seeks to solve the restraints COVID-19 has brought and at that it works well.
BancABC does seem to be interested in keeping it around for the long-term as they promise to continue adding features throughout the year and I’ll be interested to see how it evolves. From a convenience standpoint, I think Standard Bank’s digital banking solution which brings the bank to an app is better but I can see how older customers might prefer BancABCs approach.