Bank Alfalah has inaugurated its first “digital lifestyle branch” in Karachi city this week to improve the overall customer experience and provide a unique digital experience and meet the lifestyle and financial needs of customers.
The private commercial bank is a Pakistani subsidiary of a company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The state-of-the-art branch offers a 24/7 digital self-service banking area, equipped with a virtual self-service machine (VSM), biometrically secured digital lockers, cash-deposit machines (CDMs), auto-teller machines (ATMs), and tech-gadget machines. Additionally, customers have round-the-clock access to Wi-Fi.
The virtual self-service machine at the branch allows customers to instantly open accounts, swiftly receive debit cards, and print statements through a video teller immediately after transactions. The facility also provides easy-to-use and biometrically secured digital lockers accessible to customers at any time, without the need for staff interaction.
The initiative aims to enhance the overall customer experience and reduce the reliance on physical branches.
Bank Alfalah has experienced significant growth in digital banking transactions, with an annualized volume of over Rs3.5 trillion, representing a remarkable 95 percent increase. The bank’s records show that 77 percent of new account holders prefer digital transactions over conventional methods. Moreover, over 75 percent of the bank’s transactions are conducted online, and 70 percent of bank accounts are opened through digital channels.
The architect behind this groundbreaking initiative is Mr. Muhammad Yahya Khan, Group Head of Digital Banking at Bank Alfalah, with over 27 years of banking and non-banking experience who has previously held key positions in renowned organizations such as ICI Pakistan, Unilever Pakistan, and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Mr. Jameel Ahmad, commended the banking industry for investing in technological upgrades to improve banking services.
“He was optimistic that exciting projects like Bank Alfalah’s first digital lifestyle branch will unlock new opportunities, making banking easier to access and leading to a more financially inclusive and digitally empowered nation.” said the statement circulated by the bank.
Ahmad emphasized the need for a proactive approach from the banking industry in tailoring products and services to customers’ preferences and changing behaviors.
“The governor of SBP was confident that the successful implementation of this model will show the way forward to the new entrants of the banking industry in Pakistan. In his concluding remarks, he stressed the need for a proactive approach by the banking industry in tailoring customers’ products and services based on their specific preferences and changing behavior,” the statement added.