Foo Boon Ping, managing editor of The Asian Banker, takes a tour of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's new concept uBank outlet to experience its take on the future of branch banking
Here is the transcript of the video:
Foo Boon Ping (BP): We are here to visit the uBank Digital Financial Centre. Here to meet us is our friend from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Mr. Khaled Al Musawi. It's a pleasure to visit the UAE and Abu Dhabi. And here to visit the uBank. Would you like to give us a tour of this uBank.
Khaled AlMusawi (KA): Sure, no problem. Can we go this side please?
Exploring ADCB's uBank
KA: It has a comprehensive list of what our products and services are all about at uBank. So, just to give us a brief on what we can actually do at this centre is that we can print cheque leaves. You can, as a new customer to the bank, walk out with a new credit card. You can open a new account instantly. Or if you are already an existing customer, you can replace a supplementary card. You can either replace your debit card or credit card immediately or apply for a supplementary card. You can also get free wifi with us. Other than that, you can also, let's say, raise a service request, which entails changing your address, changing your mobile number, and a few service requests here and there, we can accommodate that. And also, just at a glance of ADCB products. Let's say you are interested in commercial products, conventional products. For accounts and deposits, we can go through ADCB Offshore Banking, we can do our Millionaire Destiny Savings Account, current accounts, Emirati savings accounts, and other savings accounts as an active saver, so on and so forth, of the different deposits. We also have fixed deposits that you can actually apply for here. And, running just quickly through, for example, insurance solutions, we can guide you through insurance solutions, brokerage services, and so on and so forth... wealth products, insurance, bancassurance products, and the list just goes on and on.
So this is the first contact mode for a new customer visiting the digital branch. The second thing, if you wish to continue, and apply for a certain product, let say a credit card or opening a new coount, would be our workstations where he can actually fill in an online application. He can fill in an online application where we can guide him through. And after that, there are many things he can do at the station. It's actually, he can browse our website, he can log in to his personal banking, online personal banking. He can also browse through our products and initiate, as I’ve said, at the beginning, his online application for either credit card or a new account.
Now, once that happens, a reference number would be generated and it would be sent to his mobile number. With that reference number, he can then go and take a uToken from the other side, from our service table, and then he would be guided into the smart kiosk to interact with our virtual relationship officer.
So, if we go this side... This is the service table. This is where customers get an uToken. It's a paperless environment. So, he goes for a U Token, where a token will be sent as an SMS to his mobile number. Any product he applies for or had applied for over there, let's say for example, he applied to open a new account, then he would enter his telephone number. And he will receive an uToken on his mobile. He would be called on his number to enter to the smart kiosk, which is this way.
Now, this is where the completion of the process of his online application would be processed. Now, over here we have a couple of components. We do brief our customers before using it. This is where he would collect his cheque leaves. This is where he collects his cards, being debit or credit. If we wish to authenticate him through Emirates ID, credit card or debit card that would be the slot. Scanning his Emirates ID will be through that slot. Scanning his passport.
If the virtual relationship officer would request him to sign a document, we print it from here, and then he can sign it, fill it and then scan it again back to the virtual relationship officer. This screen in front of us would be shared with our virtual relationship officer, where he would be guided. Let's say for example, through a list of options, where he can continue his online application, raising new requests, starting an application or resume an existing one.
Ensuring faster processing of bank applications
BP: Tell us a bit about the, how did the idea come about? Why is ADCB introducing certain concept at this point in time?
KA: Well, the same question was asked to our CEO, Ala'a Eraiqat, and he said, it's the time that is consumed between the customers raising this issue of having a plastic card or an application processed until a time that he receives physically what he has requested for. And that time, in question, has been taken into account and he wanted to actually make it much smaller. And that's where the idea came from... to actually make use of time and have that gap shrank down instead of days into minutes.
BP: Tell us how has the response of the customers that you've seen through this branch so far?
KA: Well, it's been actually a very good experience for many customers and astonishing for some. As they would not have expected to receive their cards instantaneously at the same time while being connected to a virtual relationship officer and asking them what to do and verifying themselves. And within minutes, they would either get their cheque leaves or their credit cards even for a new to bank customers. They would be like "Can I apply for a credit card?" And I would be like "Yes!" and they would be guided to the process and after that they would come inside here and see all this gadgets and devices and then in, let's say fifteen minutes, they would be getting a credit card from ADCB. So they would be very, very surprised. So, overall, everybody is so happy with it.
BP: Why call it uBank?
KA: It's because it is for you.
BP: Great! And how does the uBank position?
KA: Well, obviously, introducing this new banking concept puts ADCB on the map when it comes to innovation. And when it comes to attending to the customers' needs and requirements in an innovative and suggestive way. Driving through towards the digital era, ADCB has set its foot firmly in the first steps of this process. Yes, it does put ADCB in front of all the other banks when it comes to digital banking.