Media

NAB shows fragrant disregard for tradition

Clare Kermond
January 6, 2012

The Age

GUESS where? It smells nice, you can park the kids in front of a movie and take a load off while you surf the net. No, it’s not your mum’s place or an electronics show room, but the last place you’d probably guess – a bank.

NAB has unveiled the new model for its branches, which will be open plan, with more staff out from behind the counters, iPads and laptops available for the public to go online and a kids corner playing DVDs.

Among the new technology, NAB will have ”intelligent deposit machines”, which can take loose coins, notes and cheques, counting the money and reading cheques with a four-way scanner. The machine delivers a printed deposit slip, and rejects any counterfeit money or foreign currency.

Gone are the rows of tellers behind walls of security glass, to be replaced by staff in open work stations with no screens or bars.
NAB’s head of network planning and design, Peter Holmes, said security measures to support the new style included staff having no access to money until a customer’s ID was verified and a transaction completed.

Mr Holmes said banks were no longer purely financial institutions but also retail spaces competing for people’s time and attention against a whole range of retailers.
NAB will open the first of its new-style branches at 800 Bourke Street, Docklands, on Monday, with three more stores to open in Melbourne over the next three months.

The branches will also use scent, music and digital displays to improve customers’ experience, with subtle changes to the music’s volume between the doorway, queuing area and the quieter meetings spaces. Digital displays will include trivia and community announcements.

At a recent media preview, the scent of choice was jasmine and grapefruit. Managers will have a menu of fragrances to choose from – none of them the smell of cold, hard cash.

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