The fire that destroyed an Absa branch in Idutywa, in the Eastern Cape, seems to have pushed the banking group into an innovative corner.
To fill the gap left by the destroyed branch, Absa has established a “Branch-on-the-move” to serve its clients in Idutywa and is using this experience as pilot project to be rolled out throughout the country where there is a need. Branch-on-the-move is hosted inside a movable container type structure pictured above.
Branch-on-the-move offers full banking services with two tellers, two sales consultants, a branch manager and an ATM. It also includes a kitchen and a bathroom for staff members.
Explaining Absa’s ‘Branch-on-the-move’ concept, Absa’s Head of Retail Markets Arrie Rautenbach says it is designed to simulate the functionality of an entire bank branch in the form of a large container on wheels, that can be set up to be fully functional anywhere in the country within 24 hours of arrival. “This extends the reach of the bank without the immediate cost of establishing a full branch.”
Absa describes ‘Branch-on-the-Move’ as an emergency branch that does not require technology or equipment to be dissembled before being transported. The Idutywa pilot was built in only six weeks to serve the community while a new bank branch is being planned.
“It will move to areas of the country to extend its banking services where renovations, fire damage, water damage, ATM bombings or even construction interrupt normal branch operations,” said Rautenbach.
“This service will especially be felt in remote rural villages. As we invest in our community, Branch-on-the-Move makes it possible for us to make our customers’ lives easier, through a facility that addresses the financial needs of these isolated rural communities.”