SINGAPORE – The physical branch network remains an important channel for OCBC Bank to connect with its customers, according to group CEO Helen Wong, even as digital banking continues to grow.
OCBC is also seeking to redefine banking at its branches with the official opening of its integrated lifestyle and banking centre in Wisma Atria shopping mall, in the heart of Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping belt.
Speaking at the official opening on Friday, Ms Wong said: “While many transactions can be done online, the face-to-face interaction that branches facilitate is invaluable”.
She added that customers want face-to-face advisory for wealth management or complex decisions involving their home mortgages.
For Mr Sunny Quek, OCBC’s head of global consumer financial services, the bank branch is an important touchpoint for customers because “when you face a problem, you can come to the branch and we will fix it for you straight away, instead of you having to deal with chatbots or the contact centre”.
The Wisma outlet is OCBC’s latest branch that has lifestyle elements, following a brand refresh of three other branches with the lifestyle concept this year – Ang Mo Kio Central, Jurong Point and Tampines.
At 20,000 sq ft, it is second in size only to OCBC’s headquarters in the Raffles Place area.
The branch offers a full suite of banking services alongside retail and dining options, including a bookshop, a homeware and lifestyle products store, an art gallery, a cafe and an omakase restaurant, all under one roof.
There are also pods and rooms to facilitate private discussions with customers.
Mr Quek aims to create a retail experience where “banking is not right in your face”, but if a customer needs banking services, he can get help from bank staff anywhere within the branch.