Along with historical modernization of banking sector
in Pakistan, 'Bank Branches' are also being reshaped and reconstructed
on the modern banking lines all over Pakistan. In future only those
banks would take lead in banking sector which will have bank branches
restructured and reshaped according to the modern banking system. In
past almost 90 percent Bank Branches were set up in the places which
were actually constructed for commercial offices, apartment complexes,
shops and even for godowns.
Apart from foreign banks, Muslim Commercial Bank
started reconstruction of its key branches in the main cities of the
country, like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta, they even
replaced locations for the convenience and for a smooth flow of maximum
output. Later UBL started the same soon after its privatization.
So far about 250 bank branches have been reshaped and
reconstructed all over Pakistan and reshaping of about another 500
branches are either started or has been planned. The banks are spending
between Rs 1.5 million to Rs. 20 million for reconstruction, reshaping
of each branch that depends on the locality, volume of business and
availability of land or the premises.
"Reconstructed and reshaped bank branches are
grapping historic number of clients in big cities like Karachi, Lahore,
and Islamabad." Faisal Iftikhar a senior banker associated with MCB
Karachi zone said that there are now specialized architects and
designers for Bank Branches. "In this period of modern banking and
tough competition this is not as simple as it was in past, that you take
premise in apartment building put some furniture and start
banking," he added.
About 10 security and comfort equipment have
virtually scrapped out old fashioned bank branches. The bank branches
reshaped or reconstructed have the following facilities and the
1) A specified
location for security guard is now designers have fixed inside the bank
branch, earlier that was outside the main gate, that was venerable for
criminals. Now security guard has been given a place on certain height
where it is impossible for any criminal to get hold of him on the
contrary he can target easily the criminal if enters into the branch.
Simultaneously he can alert the police and security officials outside
with a single touch.
automatic ticket number machine for the clients. As a client enters into
the bank branch he presses the push button, gets his token number and
secures his or her number in queue, apart from number, the printed token
also bears his or her date and time of entry into the bank branch. There
are three kind of tokens, one for the cash withdrawal counter, second
for cash deposits and third for clearance. Now he or she does not have
to face the hardship of constantly standing in the queue for the
protection of his right of priority in the line.
3) A digital
screen at every counter and right and left side of the bank branch shows
the token number and which number is being entertained at which counter
this gives an idea to the client about the time he or she has to wait
address system: Soon after a client is disposed off from the counter the
cashier or officer at the counter pushes the button, and the next token
number is announced through internal public address system for the next
number to proceed to the counter.
close circuit video security cameras: this system keeps recording the
activities of not only all activities inside the bank branch but it also
records the entire process at every counter. At the one hand this video
recording software keeps record of entire scene of the client's
transition and at the other hand this monitors the performance including
timing of the bank officer that he spent at each client, this provides
factual position to the senior officers for examining and analysis
purposes by the senior officers.
phone frequency jam system: this equipment immediately jams the radio
frequency of all mobile phones soon after the mobile phone set brought
inside the bank branch. Now neither a call could be made nor received.
Earlier notices and warnings were pasted on the walls inside the bank
branches prohibiting use of mobile phone for one of the security
measure. But clients used to violate the instructions resulting
arguments and exchange of hot words.
Counters: a special desk is also set up at the entrance where a senior
bank officer is posted. He examines the problem comes to him or her and
give full support if a client with low literacy rate enters into bank
branch. He has the total guidance from filling the new bank account to
any serious matter the client is facing. He is also ready to support the
clients facing problems of mistakes of human factor.
8) Hot line: a
hot line telephone within the bank branch is available if a client is
not satisfied with the service of the bank branches. The time client
picks the phone cradle, a senior officer is ready to listen to him or
her for a quick response or solution. This facility has also been
provided by the UBL at its ATMs machines so that the clients could be
provided best services.
desks: there are comfortable desks for the writing the cheques, pay-slip
etc with the complete privacy.
10. All the
counters of cashiers and clearance officers have also been replaced with
good comfortable heights and visibility between the client and bank
officers, this also gives a sense of respect and honor which were only
in slogans and pamphlets in past.