One of China’s leading banks, Bank of China (BOC) hasannounced that through a partnership with technology giant IBM it has completedbuilding its first “smart” branch in Tianjin. According to the BOC, the newflagship location aims to provide an outstanding customer experience throughthe use of big data and analytics, mobile and social business tools and the BOChopes that moving forward the branch will be able to serve as the model for futurebranches.
The specific components of the smart branch include a salesarea where customers can freely experience the bank’s services and productsthrough various smart terminals, including one for mobile banking in which asales representative will be able to demonstrate the bank’s mobile bankingproduct to multiple individuals at the same time. The branch will also haveremote bank teller and customers will be able to scan QR codes to get moreinformation to name a few innovations.
Commenting on the competition of the smart branch, SunHuimin, president assistant of Tianjin Branch of BOC said, “The completion ofour flagship smart branch further illustrates BOC’s dedication to continuoustransformation to best meet the needs of our customers, and this is just thebeginning. Looking ahead, we plan to capitalize on digital and other innovativetechnologies to strengthen all of our customer-facing channels and theirability to deliver clients a personalized experience.”
With China still building large numbers of new branches eachyear, the creation of the smart branch highlights a shift that has gainedtraction globally. While banks in Western Europe and the United States haveperhaps been the most clear about their intentions to shift to modern smart branches.From Turkey to Dubai to China, developing markets are also know seeing banksinvest significant resources in modernizing their approach to retail banking.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director of the International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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