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OCBC slashes bank teller role by half as it pushes on with digital transformation

OCBC Bank will be slashing the bank-teller position in half over the next two years as digital transformation makes way for the company to move into the future. In a press statement, OCBC explained that over the past five years, digitalisation has impacted the footfall into bank branches and as such, OCBC Bank’s bank teller headcount has been reduced by 15%.

With a new fleet of ATMs and digital service kiosks, OCBC Bank will move half its bank tellers into digital or advisory roles within the next two years – enabling them to perform higher valued-added tasks. Ultimately, all OCBC Bank tellers will be upskilled over the next five years to be able to perform digital or advisory roles. Moreover, the redeployed bank tellers will become branch digital ambassadors and service executives or perform other advisory roles.

The statement added, “Even as OCBC Bank transforms its branch operations to focus on more digital and advisory services, no tellers employed today will lose their jobs as a result and the existing network of bank branches will remain largely unchanged. “

The bank added that it has earmarked SG$14 million for the deployment of the new ATMs and digital service kiosks in Singapore. These new machines took OCBC Bank’s Customer Experience and E-business teams two years to design by leveraging insights from over 100 customers, including corporate banking customers who perform 60% of all over-the-counter transactions at branches. The machines function like “mini branches” and currently allow customers to perform 15 of the most frequent bank counter services such as cash deposits, cash withdrawals above daily ATM withdrawal limits, and others.

The bank added that the new ATMs and digital service kiosks are “future proof” and include new digital technology capabilities such as facial and fingerprint scanners for biometric authentication and signature pads, which can be activated for customers’ use in the future. By 2019, the ATMs will be able to facilitate instant cheque encashment, enabling customers to simply scan their cash cheques at the ATM to receive the monetary value of their cheques immediately.

As part of the pilot, 15 digital ambassadors have been deployed to the branches where the new machines and digital service kiosks have been launched to help guide elderly customers in using the new machines.  The role of digital ambassadors has also been beefed up to include certain functions previously performed by bank tellers.

Dennis Tan, head of consumer financial services singapore, OCBC Bank, said: “This is the branch of the future evolving with digitalisation as we seek to continuously enhance customer experience. Like many of our new digital initiatives, our new ATMs and digital kiosks will bring even greater convenience to our customers.”

He added that with the advent of technology, the bank has retrained staff for higher-value job functions that will transform our business and allow a more efficient workforce to deliver optimum results. Customers must know that our staff can competently help them with digital age processes and tools.

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