African Bank has opened its new flagship branch in Sandton City.
Speaking on the launch Basani Maluleke, CEO of African Bank, said that the branch is a milestone as the bank continues to diversify its customer base and integrate digital and physical channels.
“Our branch network is well-loved by our customers,” she said. “We will continue to ensure that our branches are located and designed to augment the customer experience.”
Kena Setshogoe, African Bank group executive for Customer Engagement, said the Sandton branch has a number of notable concept services including:
- A personalised customer service host to welcome customers;
- In-branch Wi-Fi enablement for customers to leverage in-branch digital access;
- Self-service and assisted self-service functionality.
“The new Sandton branch sets the tone for our future new-look branches, bringing together our digital and physical channels to improve the overall in-branch experience and create a relaxed interactive environment designed to save time and facilitate conversations and learning,” said Setshogoe.
African Bank currently has 394 branches across South Africa.
It has opened 11 new branches since October 2018 and has grown its permanent employee headcount across the branch network by 306 people. The bank has also contracted 100 skilled contractors, who support customers in the branch network.
African Bank said it is also currently training hundreds of interns in the specific skill sets the bank needs – from technology to operations in its branch network.
In September, chief executive officer (CEO) Basani Maluleke said that the bank currently has approximately 400 interns working across its branch network, most of whom will go on to work for the bank full-time.
On the tech side, chief information officer (CIO) Penny Futter noted that almost 10% of her team are also interns in training.
The skills which are most in-demand are in security and data science, the bank said.
Maluleke said that while the bank is staying true to its roots – servicing the under-serviced, particularly in the lower-end of the market – the group is expanding and growing with offerings more the middle market (specifically in the R5,000 to R40,000 income bracket).
This expansion is notable at a time when other banks are scaling down, closing branches, retrenching employees and looking for ways to streamline.