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Banks ignore tech at their peril

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Author: WildC@rd

Banks could improve their customer service by embracing new technologies but are proving to be slow on the uptake, new research shows. According to a survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by BT, technologies such as wireless, RFID and IP networks are not being fully exploited by financial companies. Only 28 per cent of banking executives surveyed plan to introduce remote access in branches over the next three years while only 13 per cent use wireless terminals. OCBC Bank in Singapore is among the leaders in exploiting emerging technologies. In 2003 the bank linked its ATM network to its data warehouse and customer relationship management system. This means when customers access ATMs, they are presented with choices that reflect their personal preferences. For example customers could be offered a predetermined amount of cash to withdraw, thus speeding up transactions. The survey also revealed banking execs would like to transform bank branches through further automation of transactions. This would not only reduce headcount but also free up staff to act as sales agents for services and products. However, the unwillingness of some banks to adopt new technologies means plans to modernise the role of the branch and its employees could be limited, the research concluded.
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