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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 18/12/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Dubai-based lender - one of the leading financial institutions in the region - has worked with ATM, a leading global ATM manufacturer and service provider, in developing the ITM - the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa region.

Suvo Sarkar, general manager of Retail Banking at Emirates NBD, is confident that the bank's new service will appeal to its customers, given the convenience, one-on-one personal interaction and the potential time that can be saved using the ITM.

"The response [to the ITM] is excellent. But more importantly, customers are already pleased with it," he told Khaleej Times in an interview during the ITM's launch.

"We're already seeing adoption by customers" adoption in technology in this market has always been very good."

Emirates NBD's first ITM is located at its branch at The Dubai Mall. Its most unique feature is a personalised face-to-face interaction with a live teller, as if it were in an actual branch but without the usual queues and waiting time. Customers can enquire about their accounts, cards and loans, using the real time-video connection.

Clients will be able to use the ITM to encash cheques and withdraw cash of up to Dh60,000, as well as depositing up to 30 cheques at a time. It is also fraud-proof as it comes with a customer verification feature.

With concerns and questions being addressed in real time, the service is expected to provide greater satisfaction and an enhanced ATM experience. More ITMs are due next year, Sarkar said, but this will depend on its first phase and "once we smoothen out any issues".

"We are very keen to see how customers react to it," he said. "Based on its success with customers [with this first ITM], we'll roll it out across other branches."

Both Emirates NBD and NCR did a lot of research into the development of the ITM; one of the top findings was that customers that are tech-oriented "are happy not to talk to a person [face-to-face] and are fairly comfortable using this machine".

Adding to this, Sarkar said that the ITM would mostly appeal to the younger set of customers, particularly those in the 25-45 age group. "It's very easy to use," he said. "You can do pretty much the bulk of what you can do at the normal bank counters."

Sarkar said that it is possible - "we are hoping" - that the next phase of the ITM would allow customers to open new accounts with it. Such a feature - and any other innovation that may come up - would further rev up customer experience and convenience, and will further cement Emirates NBD's commitment to its world-class banking service.

"I hope customers like it," he said. "We're also trying to kind of experiment to find out whether they are happy to move out of physical tellers and into a more interactive way of banking."

And familiarising oneself won't be a problem, he pointed out, as Emirates NBD will have service ambassadors at the branch to help customers out with the ITM. The bank will also send out communications to all its clients regarding the new machine.

Asked on new technological offerings, Sarkar revealed that the coming week will see Emirates NBD launch a "very unique product" in its mobile banking service, "a first in the region and probably one of the first in the world".

Sarkar declined to give further details, but he did offer this: "It will be a very unique savings account that comes only on a mobile phone" it will help Emirates NBD stay ahead of the game."

 






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