Find out if the bank's tiniest branch will also operate 24/7.
Whilst some banks are shutting down physical branches and ramping up their digital offerings because of the evolving customer preferences and the constant push for innovation, one bank in Thailand thought of setting up a new branch which is a first of its kind. It’s not in the city centre or in one of the major malls in the country. It’s inside a 7-Eleven store.
The CIMB Thai Sitabutr Mini Branch is only about 3-4 square metres, just enough space to accommodate one staff. It's the first-ever Thai commercial bank branch located inside a convenience store. But unlike the usual 9 to 5 operating hours of most banks or the 24-hour operation of the store it’s in, this branch is open daily from 10:30AM - 7:30PM.
It provides account opening, deposit, SpeedSend, foreign currency exchange, personal loan and debit and credit card services. The Digital Solution Engagement or DSE innovation is also introduced here, with quick credit approval requiring only presentation of national ID card.
“We do well in exploring and introducing new channels to provide more customer convenience. We have rented a space in a 7-Eleven store, the most popular convenience store chain in Thailand, in order to better reach out to retail customers. We have selected 7-Eleven Sitabutr 2 as a pilot branch from which we will be able to get customer feedback before further branch expansion decision,” said Adisorn Sermchaiwong, senior executive vice president, consumer banking group at CIMB Thai.
In a follow up interview with Asian Banking and Finance, Sermchaiwong said that should customer feedback be satisfactory for the next 2-3 months, the bank may open 20-30 more branches inside convenience stores. He did not disclose the specific key performance indicators for the first mini branch and the target locations for the next mini branches.
CIMB Thai has had its full-fledged branches transformed into a Wealth Centre rendering advisory services on saving and investment to meet diverse demands of wealth customers. The service operation would then be redesigned to focus on availability of service spaces, private consulting rooms and investment experts.
According to Sermchaiwong, after changing their branch network strategy, the number of high net-worth customers using its services doubled from 20,000 to almost 50,000 despite the decreasing number of branches.
CIMB Thai services that are available at the Sitabutr Mini Branch are:
Check out our slideshow for more photos of CIMB's new branch.
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