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New banking concept for Docklands

31 Jan 2012

New banking concept for Docklands Image

It is the first of five concept stores to be opened across Australia this year as NAB discards the term “branch” and re-focuses on “retail and customer experience”.

Combining state-of-the-art security, cutting-edge technology and a revolutionary open plan layout, the Docklands store also aims to re-connect with the local community.

The in-store technology includes free wifi and internet access, free use of Apple Macs and iPads, and a “kids’ zone” showing an animated feature. An invisible scent – “jasmine with a hint of grapefruit” – is being trialled at Docklands.

Launching the prototype store last month, manager Vinit Ajmani said local groups could come into the store and add community notices on a free Apple app.

“Creating a link with the Docklands community is the most important thing to us,” Mr Ajmani said.

“We encourage local community groups to come in and add their notices on our free app,” he said.

“Live advertising will be flashing on three digital screens to promote our community, showing local events and notices.”

NAB has adopted a “less is more” approach to security. Gone are the obvious security barriers and pop-up windows, as the bank believes an open-plan layout deters offenders who prefer concealment to being in sight.

The Docklands store is piloting “an invisible toxic solution featuring a unique synthetic DNA solution that sprays offenders when leaving the premises”.

Also, tellers will have no access to cash until after a transaction has been made and identification is accepted.

An “intelligent deposit machine” can accept up to 50 notes and 30 cheques at once, and issue a receipt with an image of each deposited cheque.

But Mr Ajmani said staff numbers would not be reduced from the current  “nine or 10”.

NAB head of network planning and design, Peter Holmes, said:  “The store will have the same number of staff, who can come out and interact with customers.”

“We think customers will always want face-to-face banking. This is a multi-sensory experience.”

The store features piped music, which changes in volume between the store’s three sections.

The store is in the NAB building at 800 Bourke St, Docklands, and is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

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