Alawwal bank redefines what branch banking means in the digital age
Alawwal Bank has unveiled its new digital branch in the form of a coffee shop that aims to set the global benchmark for branch banking.
Committed to delivering a superior digital customer experience, the Bank has redefined a traditional distribution model into a state-of-the-art café facility that offers customers the ability to open an account and get an instant credit card, in under seven minutes, whilst enjoying a cappuccino and croissant from its partner Costa Coffee. The Ibda café is set to be a key disruptor in how banks engage with their customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has launched this pivotal concept in the Nakheel Mall in Riyadh.
Together with its key digital innovation partner Synechron Inc., a global financial services consulting and technology services provider, the bank’s leadership set out to reimagine and reinvent the physical distribution model for the millennial generation. The Ibda Café is a unique facility in that it is the first open-air digital branch café that introduces the Barista and digital-first onboarding processes. Inherent in its design are the principles trust and transparency in retail banking. The Ibda concept is the world’s first of its kind initiative and with its launch on February 19th 2017 attended by Alawwal’s Chairman Mubarak Al-Kafra, Board member Eyad Al-Hussian, Managing Director Mr. Soren Nikolajsen and a number of senior bank officials.
“By combining a coffee shop with digitised banking solutions, we solve so many problems across the traditional distribution model from lowering operating costs to customer engagement to providing valued advisory services whilst still delivering instant onboarding. Our Ibda branch is not about replacing staff with machines but rather using lifestyle interaction to help customers and staff engage more deeply all in a digitally enabled experience,” said Sami Al-Rowaithy, Head of Marketing, E-business and Digital Channels Management, Alawwal.
When customers enter the café, their journey is met by interactive screens, enabling them to understand more about the functionality within the branch, research the bank’s products and services, play games, and open an account or credit card with minimal friction and effort. New Alawwal bank customers leave the Ibda branch with a first impression of how efficient the bank’s operations are and how they will be able to manage their finances on a daily basis through the bank’s digital solutions.
“We are proud and honoured that Alawwal chose to work with Synechron as their one-stop partner in envisioning, building and developing the Ibda café. We were able to work with the bank’s leadership to set the vision, to build and design everything from a new cutting-edge interior design and fit-out, to a range of digital interactive experiences that will propel the bank as a leader in digital innovation. The digital onboarding solution we have developed for the Ibda café is the best in the market globally and was only made possible by the bank’s leaders, who are relentless in continuous improvement, and truly ‘customer-obsessed’. The Ibda branch is inevitably going to set the bank apart from its competitors, and I have no doubt will establish a new precedent in bank branches,” said David Horton, Managing Director of Innovation, Synechron.