VIENNA, Austria - June 14, 2019 – In last few days, BAWAG P.S.K. has opened three newly designed branches in Traun, Deutschlandsberg and Wolfsberg, which are the first ones in the regions. David O´Leary, member of the managing board of BAWAG Group and Head of BAWAG P.S.K. Retail, explained: "We are happy to present the first branches in the new design in Upper Austria, Carinthia and Styria. The new branch concept focuses on first-in-class advisory services, concentrated expertise and the financial wellbeing of our customers". Around 3,000 customers took the opportunity to incorporate their ideas and visions into the concept and design of the new “feel-good branches”. O´Leary: "We return the space that been used for transactions and postal logistics to our customers to provide the best advisor experience. The positive feedback, which we have received for the newly designed branches so far, shows that the new concepts helps us to meet the wishes of the customers even better. Customers feel that they are in good hands and appreciate the inviting atmosphere, the clear arrangement of areas and the innovative design."
Branches remain important for the Austrian bank customers. Young and old appreciate the dialogue with advisors to make financial decisions and prepare for the future. BAWAG P.S.K. has recently proven this in a joint study with the Austrian Bankers' Association: "Almost half of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 stated that they take advice and information on important economic and financial topics from their bank. 54% also like to talk openly about financial matters. We are therefore continuing to develop our branch network and our advisory teams," said O'Leary.
New branch concept: being and feeling welcome
The new branch design immediately grabs the customers' attention. The clearly structured and open atmosphere provides a better orientation is an inviting venue for events. The new BAWAG P.S.K. branches offer different zones that address the different needs of current and potential customers. All zones have one thing in common: a focus on the customer's financial wellbeing. The bank is proud to have developed the design in cooperation with an internationally renowned interior design agency. Furthermore, customers and employees were involved in the development on a very broad basis in co-creation workshops.
Both open and discreet: comprehensive expertise and support from on-site advisors
In the branch, customers and guests can find their way intuitively in a bright and friendly environment. Our self-service terminals for daily transactions are located in open areas. There are comfortable seating units where customers can get detailed information or chat with advisors about financial matters while enjoying a cup of coffee. There are highly discreet areas for customers to discuss complex financing arrangements or personal investment matters too. "We are making our comprehensive financial expertise available in the new branches to ensure the financial wellbeing of our customers," explained Werner Rodax, director of retail and small business sales at BAWAG P.S.K. "Our team is dedicated to providing our customers with the assistance they need to skillfully manage their finances, to make profitable investments or to finance a new home."
Outlook: up to 100 newly designed BAWAG P.S.K. branches across Austria
After having ended the arrangement with the Austrian Postal Service, BAWAG P.S.K. will offer first-in-class advisory services in up to 100 newly designed branches across Austria. BAWAG P.S.K. will provide all financial services in the branches in the future, focusing especially on providing individualized advice to its customers. This concept is a reaction from BAWAG P.S.K. on the substantial changes in the banking needs of customers over the past years. More and more people are conducting their routine banking transactions electronically, either through online banking or financial apps. A recent survey also confirmed this trend, noting a continuous shift in transactions from the counter to online systems and self-service terminals in 2018: While the total number of transactions was almost the same as in the same period in 2017, BAWAG P.S.K. saw a 20% decrease in counter transactions since 2017, and such transactions now only account for 10% of all transactions. "When customers take the time to seek out for personal contact with their bank, they should benefit from outstanding advisory services," Rodax
Also new: Revamped Digital Banking presence
BAWAG P.S.K. recently announced another important milestone in its retail banking strategy: With its revamped digital banking presence and the GO LIVE of the new digital banking app "klar", the bank offers a completely new digital customer experience. The new app offers various improved banking functions and innovations, such as the personal finance manager "klar sehen" or "klarPIN", which simplifies the transaction process. "We focus on customer needs and work on deepening the relationships to our customers across all sales channels," explained Rodax.
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)