The FINANCIAL — Their speed, simplicity, convenience and ultramodern design are the main advantages of Bank of Georgia’s new format of service centre.
The nine new express service centres are the first of the Bank’s new offers under the project Feel the Future. The cost of each centre is 87,000 GEL.
“Opening nine service centres in one day is an unprecedented event in the Georgian banking sector,” claims Irakli Gilauri, General Director of BOG.
The express service centres are divided into two parts. The first part is a self-service area which is open 24 hours a day. Special staff is available to help clients perform online operations in this area if necessary. The second half of the centre will be open from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. on week days and from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. at weekends. Cashier-operators will serve customers in this part.
“The majority of Georgians aren’t yet used to performing operations online,” said Irakli Gilauri. “They are afraid of making mistakes and so they often refrain from using this despite its speed, which is the main advantage of doing online transactions. Therefore customers can use the support of our staff at ordinary service centres even though the service is not as fast there. Queues are also common at service centres. We have combined the advantages of these two services and got one ideal format: the express service centre. This means that customers can operate online transactions with the support of our staff.”
“As well as increasing our client’s satisfaction rate, we want to raise the number of online transactions with our new format. At the moment we have more than a million online transactions annually. However this number isn’t high enough.”
In the second part of the express centres bank clients can get ordinary service like that which is available at other service centres.
Clients can have fast and simple access to the products created specially for express customers. The special express product entails: registration of an express package which includes express card, multi-currency account, online banking and SMS banking service. As well as this the express service also entails registration of an express deposit, filling out an application for express credit and express orange. The express package also involves usage of some other bank products: filling out the application for an American Express Blue card, activating the services of mobile banking, automatic banking, electronic piggybank etc.
“Almost all the services at the express centres can be carried out in under five minutes,” Gilauri explained. “Every customer can open a deposit by an ATM and start saving money from as little as 10 GEL in five minutes. This is an unprecedented service in Georgia. We had the minimal margin for opening a deposit in Georgia before this but 10 GEL is a totally new offer. We want our customers to start thinking about small deposits as they can prove to be quite helpful after several years.”
“Anyone who has an express card and gets their salary via this card will have the possibility to be approved express credit from 200 GEL up to 6,000 GEL in five minutes via ATM as well. The terms of the credit will be individual.”
As well as express credit, any customer can get ordinary credit at the new service centres. The terms of the service and tariffs will be the same as at other service centres.
The design of the new express service centres are of a totally new format as well. Colour Means Service is their new concept. There are four main colours in the interior and each colour defines the area for a specific type of service such as ATM or online banking.
The nine new express service centres are located in different districts of Tbilisi including the suburbs. 45 individuals are employed at these centres. Staff members wear a special uniform.
Bank of Georgia plans to expand its number of express service centres up to 50 by 2012. They will be located not just in Tbilisi, but in the regions of Georgia including Batumi, Kutaisi and Gori.
Bank of Georgia is a leading bank in Georgia. The Bank holds 36 percent of the market according to data of the Georgian National Bank as of June 30, 2011. Net Interest Income of the bank in the second quarter of bank is 51.7 million GEL (28.0 million USD), Net Non-Interest Income – 29.6 million GEL (16.1 million USD). Total Operating Income (Revenue) for the same period is 81.3 million GEL (44.1 million USD).
The Bank has 425 ATMs and 143 service centres across Georgia. Seven of these centres are working 24 hourly and 23 are located on the underground. The Bank owns 627,000 plastic cards, out of which 112,000 are credit cards.
The Bank of Georgia has recently moved to a new head office. President Mikheil Saakashvili has unveiled the new office.