Technology gives new face to local bank branches.

Article by Kevin Boyle

More Australians are accessing their bank accounts with mobile devices, allowing banks to restructure their retail strategy and focus on consulting customers with more complex banking decisions such as home loans and wealth management.

With many banks reporting mobile device banking overtaking the already popular conventional internet banking platform, the relevancy of a local bank branch for simple transactions is becoming obsolete. And with the branches freed up from traffic of day to day banking customers, the likes of NAB are adjusting their outlets and taking a new approach to the services they are offering their customers.

NAB has unveiled plans to revamp its branches with the intention to give customers easier access to individual personal finance consultations. The new branches will remove old features such as security screens and have a more open layout where customers are encouraged to come discuss finances. The plans also include replacing traditional tellers with new 'Smart ATM's,' where customers can still access regular banking transactions. 

"A lot of over-the-counter  transactions are high in volume and they actually take high costs to serve as well," said Vicki Carter, NAB's executive general manager retail.

The new strategy is part of a wider trend amongst major banks to reduce costs and compete for higher margin business such as home loans, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

While this is a major change for the established banks, this is not the first technological innovation within the sector. 'Online only' banks have been passing on reduced costs to their home loans and credit cards for a number of years already. 

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