Virtual banking pods sprout into life
Turkish consumer banking pod initiative could sow cost cutting seeds for UK banks.
Bold and innovative banks are increasingly experimenting with ways of deploying video technology in a bid to reconcile the tension between reducing their cost income ratios and improving customer experience. In this world, can banking pods, which offer teller services via video conferencing, be the way forward?
Ziraat Bank, one of the oldest banks in Turkey, recently announced it is to invest heavily in consumer banking pods. From its roots in the agricultural sector, Ziraat has developed into a significant force in the Turkish domestic consumer banking market. By using the pods, the bank aims to enhance its footprint by targeting consumers in congested or new urban locations in which traditional branch banks are either impractical or unviable.
Ziraat’s initiative will see the deployment of up to 1,000 pods in towns, shopping centres, railway stations and airports. The investment is significant, as each pod costs $100,000. On the upside, they are open round the clock, 365 days a year. Ziraat estimates the initiative can increase its process efficiency from 70-80 transactions per day for a branch teller to as many as 140 transactions for each pod. One particularly valuable innovation is the pods’ use of a fingerprint-based identification and verification solution to identify customers, thereby speeding transaction flow and improving the client experience.
The pods are also being used as a customer acquisition tool, as they will provide funds transfer and bill payment facilities free of charge to non-customers. Meanwhile, Ziraat customers will enjoy facilities to buy bonds and foreign exchange, as well as being able to conduct standard activities such as transfers, deposits, withdrawals and bill payments.
Should the pods capture the imagination of Turkish consumers it may not be long before we see them in other markets. For UK banks it will be an initiative worth watching.
This article was featured in Issue One of PERSPECTIVES: KPMG’s Insights into the Changing World of Customer and Channels. For more information about this online newsletter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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