Rapid social and technical change will demand radical new approaches in the way Middle East retail banks deal with their customers, head of business development and service delivery at Doha Bank David Bennett told the MEED Middle East Retail Banking 2011 Conference in Dubai this morning. “Banks as they are today have no future,” Bennett said. “Customers are not interested in going to branches any more.”
“Why are banks putting ATM machines close to shops where they are also installing electronic point of sale payment systems?” Bennett added. “Why are we trying to convince people to become paperless with our electronic offerings and yet at the same time offer them convenient access to cash?”
Bennett said that technology and changing social attitudes are combining to threaten banks everywhere. “Research shows that people will now only wait two minutes to be served today compared with five minutes five years ago,” Bennett said. This means that having to queue in branches damages bank reputations, sometimes irreversibly, he added.
“The credit card industry is beginning to bite the dust.” Bennett said. Customers are increasingly turning to payments systems that involve mobile devices rather than cards.
Bennett said that banks will have to adapt their service offerings to harness Facebook and Twitter rather than rely on traditional service methods.