Endless Opportunities

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Over the past few weeks I have been reading a lot about bank innovation from both a digital and physical branch side. I have discovered a ton of very unique branch ideas, technology upgrades and innovative programs that are truly going to change the face of the bank. National Australia Bank, now have a social media command center, which has been put in place for the sole purpose of engaging with customers. A bank in Lebanon, Bank Audi who I mentioned in my previous post, has set up innovative kiosks in malls and public areas. Also, a Citibank branch in Singapore is located in the middle of a train station and looks nothing like a bank.

It seems like all of these banks are taking giant steps in the right direction. I read an article the other day written by Simon Zhen on MyBankTracker.com, and it talked about the 7 things foreign banks do better. All 7 are very great, but I am going to talk about the 2 I personally think are the best for attracting Generation-Y.

  1.  Near-field communications (NFC): Barclaycard

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This is a very neat service they are offering for free to their 23.5 million plus customers. It is a sticker that can be placed on any mobile device to make contactless transactions.

It is not a surprise to anyone that Generation-Yer’s have our smartphones attached to hip pretty much. (I know some people who even use their phone as a mirror). Therefore, the idea of having the ability to pay for anything with the swipe of a cell phone is something that is very exciting for me. Because I was not quite sure about how this works, I visited the website and was very surprised at the ease of use. Go ahead and take a look.

You can check out a video for more information here.

2. Social media integration: ICICI Bank 

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This service provided by ICIC Bank in India allows their customers to access and manage their bank accounts directly through Facebook. Their customers can do many things such as check account balances, request email statements and many other very convenient transactions.

With over 1 billion users around the world, it seems like Facebook would be the perfect platform to launch something like this. According to Zhen, “In the U.S., Citi, American Express and Chase have launched successful campaigns on Facebook, but they’ve refrained from offering account access.”

Click here to check out their Facebook Application.

What is very interesting to me is that none of these banks are located in the United States. The United States of America has the world’s richest banking market, consisting of around 90,000 branches. I think it might be time for us to take a look around and see what other countries are doing. The opportunities could be endless.

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