It is clear that bank customers are diverse and have different needs. It is crucial for the self-service usage rate that self-service is intuitive, understandable and easily accessible for everyone. Sparkasse Oberösterreich demonstrates this with its self-service location in Linzerie.
In an interview with Udo Dettelbacher, the IM-TREND editorial team was able to find out what the "branch of the future" concept looks like, what significance self-service has at Sparkasse Oberösterreich and what innovations will be focused on in the future.
Mr Dettelbacher, how important is the self-service channel in your company?
Self-service is an important part of the services offered by Sparkasse Oberösterreich. This is reflected in our branch concept "Branch of the Future": the self-service zone is now fully integrated into the branch. The self-service machines are located in front of the reception area. This way, our customers can get help quickly when they need it. Instead of cash desks, all cash handling as well as transfers have been moved to the self-service automation. Only large amounts are paid out at the discreet cash desk
At self-service locations only, customers can use our 24/7 ATM service to carry out simple banking services at any time of the day or night without having to travel long distances. We want to be there for our customers even where no full-service branch is available.
The self-service area in the Linzerie is very nicely solved in terms of design, conception and accessibility. Could you please briefly describe the branch concept?
Discretion, a sense of security and design are very important to us when developing customer-centric solutions. In this self-service area, we provide our customers with state-of-the-art deposit and withdrawal machines as well as an account service terminal (for statement printouts and transfers) from KEBA. The large screens are used for communication with our customers. We are pleased that our self-service area in the Linzerie is so popular
Are there guidelines/principles that are implemented for new self-service points and branches of Sparkasse Oberösterreich across the board?
With our concept "Branch of the Future", a future-oriented and modern branch standard was developed in 2019 through the participation of employees from sales and operations. The customer segment services offered determine the size of the branch, which is reflected in different branch types
- Flagship store (20 workplaces or more): Branch services for private customers, business customers, corporate customers, private banking and sReal
- Branch as advisory hub (up to 20 workplaces): Regional mix of primarily private, business and/or asset customer services
- Satellites (0 - 5 workplaces): Small branches with staffing as well as pure self-service branches
With this concept, sales- and customer-oriented branches have been created in which the self-service zone is fully integrated into the branch. Counselling zones are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, such as video counselling and expert connection. The advisory services offered range from standing advice to advice in lounges. The employees work on a desk-sharing basis and are equipped with the latest technical aids.
Uniform technical equipment has been implemented in the branch in terms of construction technology, building services and security. The external appearance of our branches has also changed with the design of modern facades. The balance between quality and costs was always kept in mind during the implementation. All the measures implemented in our "branches of the future" have a positive effect on our customers. For example, our customers can process their cash transactions and transfers quickly and independently at our state-of-the-art self-service machines, while our advisors have more time for quality customer service because cash handling activities are no longer necessary.
Which (future) topics around SB do you consider to be particularly important?
The customer-centric approach will continue to have top priority in our bank. The self-service machines must be user-friendly, i.e. intuitive. Furthermore, the security requirements must be met with a high resistance class and modern security systems. KEBA devices enable our customers to process cash transactions easily, securely and quickly.
What innovations in the self-service sector are you currently working on?
The replacement of our ATMs with cash recyclers has already been implemented. At the moment we are working on a tender for non-cash terminals for printing account statements and recording transfers. Looking further into the future, branches will increasingly be operated in a hybrid fashion: self-service zones offer all conceivable automated services, high-quality advice is still provided physically by top-qualified advisors, coupled with digital video advice. The latter is mainly used at home. In addition, we already have a customer centre in Wels and a modern video advisory unit for all customer segments.
Finally, a question on your own behalf: how would you describe the cooperation with KEBA?
KEBA is a long-standing, innovative partner who always presents us with new solutions and also realises industry-specific needs. With the use of the cash recyclers, our locations can be well serviced. By providing the right innovations at the right time and high-quality products, Sparkasse Oberösterreich values KEBA as a reliable, regional business partner.
Thank you very much for your insight into the self-service world of Sparkasse Oberösterreich.
Ing. Udo Dettelbacher, MSc Department Manager Real Estate and Operations of Sparkasse OÖ
Facts of the self-service branch Linzerie: Opening: May 2021
Available self-services: Deposit, withdrawal, account services and transactions, ATM
Suppliers of self-service machines: KEBA, Vendix
Photos: Sparkasse OÖ