NAB's flagship branch to be test-bed for new tech

NAB on George will have piloting focus and beta versions of apps and devices

National Australia Bank has launched a Sydney flagship branch to serve as a test-bed to trial new customer-facing and internal innovations.

The branch will have a “piloting focus” a spokesperson for the bank told Computerworld, and in coming months will trial; new versions of the bank’s customer tablet app; new digital devices before they enter the market; and technology enhanced self-service options for customers and staff.

“The branch is a place to trial new ways of working to ensure our future network meets our customers’ needs. To enable this approach we hired a team and established a culture of embracing change, testing and learning,” the spokesperson added.

The 600 square-metre reimagined branch at 333 George Street, called ‘NAB on George’, opened last week as a “working demonstration of NAB’s vision for integrated customer service” the bank said.

“One of the unique elements we have factored into the branch design is the ability to pilot new products and services before they are brought to market, which will ultimately inform our future branches,” said NAB’s executive general manager of retail, Bob Melrose at the launch.

Staff working at the branch will have access to tablet devices and smartphones with which they can manage appointments, access real-time customer feedback through a Net Promoter Score system dashboard, access product information, book meeting rooms, and create presentations.

The bank has created an online portal for the NAB on George team to access everything they need in one place which will encourage collaboration and unified communications, a spokesperson added.

Customers will be greeted with a ‘welcome touch screen’ to guide them through the branch, and be able to use self-service smart ATMS. A number of the branch’s zones will have tablets and laptops which customers are encouraged to use to access online banking tools and services.

Cisco MX Video Conferencing will be available to allow customers to book and attend a meeting with NAB experts based in other offices.

“Our ‘digital first’ approach enables our people to demonstrate to customers how they can perform simple transactions quickly and easily with self-service technology,” the spokesperson added.

NAB targets tech

Customer focused tech is a top priority of NAB this year. During the bank’s full year results briefing in October, the bank's CEO Andrew Thorburn said that after a period of time focusing on its technology infrastructure the banks is “increasingly focused on using technology to help our customers”.

NAB has completed the rollout of its Personal Banking Origination Platform (PBOP), which was a key component in NAB’s largest ever technology transformation program. In February the bank appointed Patrick Wright as chief technology and operations officer (CTOO), following the departure of group executive enterprise services and transformation — Renee Roberts — in July as part of a restructure.

“As we reshape our business, Patrick will lead our simplification, digitisation and automation agenda to deliver greater efficiency and create a simpler and easier experience for our customers and bankers," Thorburn said at the time.

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