ING Belgium has opened doors to its first “client house” branch, which the bank describes as “a place where retail, business and private banking customers can walk in and enjoy a good coffee and receive personal service”, reports Banking Technology (Paybefore‘s sister publication).
ING states it “recognises the future is digital and personal”.
“A client house to me should feel like home,” comments Erik Van Den Eynden, CEO of ING Belgium. “There are moments in people’s lives when they want to talk to a banker in a setting where everything is at hand to quickly take the right decision.
“The people side is as important as the digital aspect,” he emphasises.
The bank’s client house is equipped with “all of ING’s digital tools” for customers to wait or work while enjoying a cup of coffee, ING says.
It also has various meeting rooms with digital screens and video conferencing systems.
This new concept follows interviews with customers, research on customer flows, bank office observations, and more, according to ING.
Philippe Wallez, head of ING Belgium’s retail and private, feels it helps the bank to optimise its existing branch network and strengthen the relationship with local communities. The client house has a community wall, where local news and events can be announced, and its meeting rooms are open to local associations.
There are plans to open another 15 client houses across Belgium by the end of 2020.