Bank of New Zealand plans branch network makeover

Bank of New Zealand plans branch network makeover

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is embarking on a massive branch refurbishment and relocation project that will see new technology such as video conferencing introduced to "transform" the way it interacts with customers.

The makeover, reportedly costing NZ$100 million, will see around half of BNZ's 179 branches refurbished with the rest relocated over two years.

The project comes after customer research designed to gauge requirements in a society that has "changed dramatically" over the last 20 years.

Matt Sale, head, retail strategy, BNZ, says: "We've canvassed the opinions of our customers across the length and breadth of New Zealand and the upgrade and relocation programme is a direct response to what our customers want."

All stores will provide video conferencing facilities to link BNZ's small business customers with specialists in the bank's specialist hub. Other technology-based features like free Internet access, free wifi, and interactive touchscreens are also being considered.

The branches will incorporate circular teller desks in the middle of the store, an interactive product and service wall, and digital signage. Some stores will also have a kids' zone with flat screen televisions.

Security technology such as eye-level CCTV, teller desk cameras, electronic cash drawers and SelectaDNA HydraSpray, which covers potential thieves with a solution that glows under ultra violet light, will be included.

Talks are also taking place with retailers about joint ventures such as cafes, travel agents and telcos.

Says Sale: "This investment in New Zealand will create a network of stores that are more conveniently located for our staff and customers. Each store will also connect at a local community level - for example, digital signage will offer customers the opportunity to promote their local community or charity event through one of our digital screens."

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