Piraeus Bank hails automated 'e-branches'

Piraeus Bank hails automated 'e-branches'

Greek bank Piraeus is hailing the performance of three new fully-automated bank branches, claiming that their popularity has freed up staffers at traditional branches to focus on more complex, higher value work.

Piraeus opened the e-branches at the end of last year in the region of Attiki, offering longer opening hours than normal branches and a range of services, including instant gift card issuance and receipt, automated passbook updates, Internet banking registration points and a digital zone replete with computers and tablets.

The bank says that the e-branches have proved popular, with more than 37,000 users per month making over 32,000 transactions. After seven months of operation the new outlets are processing 84% of the volume of transactions undertaken in nearby traditional branches.

This migration to automated processing for smaller transactions has freed up staff to focus on higher value products such as personal loans and mortgages, says Piraeus.

The e-branches are particularly popular with older customers - a third of users are over 60 - acting as an intermediate step to online and mobile banking.

Another two e-branches are in the pipeline, while higher value products such as mortgages could also be handled at the centres thanks to remote video links. Work is also being carried out to make them more accessible to blind and deaf customers.

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