Bank of Montreal has opened a new-concept, million-dollar hi-tech community banking centre in Kanata, the New City of Ottawa community - frequently dubbed 'Silicon Valley North'.
"Residents in Kanata are tech-savvy and have been early adopters of e-banking innovations," says Jamie McMillan, senior vice-president of the bank's community banking operations in Ottawa. "Combining the hi-tech features of Web and wireless banking with our new high-touch service aligns the banking experience with customer expectations in a friendly, neighbourhood branch where the personal touch still makes a difference," he explains.
The branch has introduced a new service model, which it calls 'assisted serve', that brings its customer service representatives out from behind the traditional banking counter to greet and assist customers with their banking needs and to familiarise them with the bank's new e-banking service.
Features of the new 4500 sq. ft. full-service branch include real-time e-mail access with multi-modem connections in a café-style customer seating area which also offers a small library and a wall-mounted flat screen TV for viewing current business news.
A customer Internet station lets customers research, bank and invest directly online at their convenience. Prospective homebuyers can also conduct an Internet search of new-construction homes for sale in the Ottawa area by clicking on www. homesclick.com. A direct link to Bank of Montreal mortgage rates and online mortgage calculator helps them factor in relative financing costs to enhance home comparisons.
A high-tech client presentation room has been specially designed to allow paperless presentations and interactive participation, on-site and via modem, so that commercial banking clients can include colleagues or partners who cannot attend in person.
Each of the branch's 17 new employees is computer and Internet literate. In addition, every employee has access to a BMO Veev wireless phone for demonstration to customers interested in a complete e-banking solution.
The branch is located in the Kanata Signature Centre on Terry Fox Drive and is staffed with a BMO Nesbitt Burns investment specialist, a wealth management specialist, a commercial banking team and two mortgage specialists for new-home-construction financing and resale home purchase financing.