Banking is changing but that doesn't mean less service in the bush

Banking is changing but that doesn't mean less service in the bush

OPINION
Agribusiness
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Regional customers are embracing new ways to keep in contact with banks and local bank staff have discovered broader job horizons.

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In my past 20 years in banking, I have seen a lot change.

I remember a time when we'd have to queue at my local branch to make deposits, check balances, make transfers and cash cheques.

Now much of this is done online or over the phone in a fraction of the time.

While local branches will always be important, our customers are coming into the branch less.

Across the country, we now have more than 90 per cent of NAB's customer interactions each week happening over the phone or online and we are often seeing just a couple of hundred transactions take place in some of our smaller branches each week.

Customers are embracing new ways to contact us.

You can now have a video conversation with a banker from home or the office, even at night or on the weekend, or reach us 24/7 through our Internet Banking Virtual Assistant.

Recently NAB announced it is adjusting the opening hours at 114 branches around the country, moving to 9.30am - 12.30pm on their operating days.

Over time, this presents the opportunity for our bankers to work remotely at times when more of our customers want to do their banking - Krissie Jones, National Australia Bank

Outside of these hours my colleagues will split the remainder of the day helping people over the phone or online.

To do this, NAB is investing in our bankers to ensure they have the skills to serve our customers now and into the future.

Over time, this presents the opportunity for our bankers to work remotely at times when more of our customers want to do their banking.

We have seen this is possible through COVID-19 with more than 450 bankers trained in new skills to support customers in new ways.

Krissie Jones

Krissie Jones

One of these bankers I know of is Felicity from our Wagga Wagga branch.

She has spent the last 13 years supporting customers in the branch and through COVID-19 jumped at the chance to join our Customer Care team and help Customers across Australia over the phone.

Being based in regional Australia, Felicity never thought it was possible to work in a different team in NAB outside her home turf in country NSW.

Now her team is made up of bankers in nearly every state.

We see this as the future of banking and as a real opportunity for promoting job opportunities in regional and rural Australia into the future.

It provides an opportunity for bankers to do different work from anywhere in Australia, whether they are in the branch or at home.

We see this as the future of banking and as a real opportunity for promoting job opportunities in regional and rural Australia into the future.

It provides an opportunity for bankers to do different work from anywhere in Australia, whether they are in the branch or at home.

We know many of you still want to do your banking in person, and while this may be a change for some customers we will work with you to help you get your banking done, whether it's in-person, online or over the phone.

Nobody's time is more precious than our customers', and although we know how people bank will continue to evolve, we remain ready to serve our regional customers and communities - and we will continue to invest in our bankers to give them the skills they need to do their jobs into the future.

The new operational hours will come into effect from Monday, 17 August 2020.

  • Krissie Jones is National Australia Bank's retail executive

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The story Banking is changing but that doesn't mean less service in the bush first appeared on Farm Online.

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