AIB (Allied Irish Banks) is a major retail and commercial bank in Ireland. It offers a full range of personal and corporate banking services—from international banking and treasury operations to personal and private banking, general insurance, life assurance and pension products. The state-owned bank reported 2012 total operating income of €1.4 billion.
Head of Direct Channels for AIB
AIB is continuing its focus on returning the bank to sustainable profitability by 2014 and playing a central role in the recovery of the Irish economy.
A critical element of AIB’s strategy is using digital technology to lower distribution costs through customers’ increased use of self-service banking and grow incremental revenue through a differentiated digital-based customer proposition.
In early 2012, AIB decided to create an innovative digital banking store that would:
Promote and educate customers on the use of innovative technologies and self-service capabilities in banking through direct channels—the Web, mobile, social media and smart devices.
Deliver an innovative and compelling customer experience that differentiates AIB in the market.
Create a positive media and public impact to enhance AIB’s brand, engage existing and new customers in the digital community and support businesses within the local community.
Provide a high-impact, digitally enabled, interactive test bed environment in which the bank can pilot, assess and refine new customer solutions and innovations ahead of wider deployment (or reject on a failfast approach).
AIB and Accenture worked together to define the initial concept, devise the customer proposition and target model, and collaborate with other vendors to design and implement the solution.
An Accenture team of local and global banking, digital technology, digital marketing and mobility specialists led the following project components:
Overall program management, including delivery objectives, scope, roles, responsibilities and governance.
Operating model development for the store, including staffing (recruitment and training) and transition of the project to a live and stable business.
Customer concept delivery, design of the proposition and customer journeys before testing of the end-to-end in-store experience.
Technology solution delivery, including design of the overall technical solution blueprint and architecture, development of an Account Opening tablet application, delivery management of the overall technical solution in store and transition to live operation.
Physical store delivery, coordinating and managing the design and construction of the physical store.
Marketing and social media specialists from Accenture helped AIB launch The Lab (see below) with a high-profile grand opening media event.
The physical retail store, branded as The Lab (Learn about Banking), incorporates four distinctive store zones to help AIB deliver the target customer experience:
Self-Service Banking Zone, a 24-hour feature that offers customers touch-enabled store information; home, phone, online and mobile banking installations; ATMs; a Social Media Wall with live streams from the AIB social media channels; and touchscreen phone with interactive voice response to phone banking resources.
Product Zone, providing a touch-enabled ‘Learning Wall’; touch-screen tables for products and services information; video conferencing booths for video calls with a financial advisor; self-directed Account Opening Booths for opening new accounts using a tablet application developed by Accenture Mobility; tablet browsing lounge; and Kids Area with digital games.
Innovation Zone, featuring a configurable showcase that highlights new, best-in-class digital banking products and services from AIB and partners where customers can explore and give feedback to help guide the bank on its future technological developments.
Small Medium Enterprises (SME) Zone, making available a dedicated meeting room for customer and bank meetings, particularly for Business and Personal Banking Remote Advisor consultations and Account Opening via tablet.
With help from Accenture, AIB successfully launched The Lab, Ireland’s first digital banking store, on April 15, 2013—just nine months after project initiation. Consumers can learn, experiment with, and be guided through self-service banking platforms in an innovative environment.
Not only is the Lab helping AIB provide a new and innovative customer experience, it is promoting awareness of the bank’s strategy to embrace digital technology to better meet customer needs. The Lab also allows the bank to test and pilot its pipeline of innovations.
Over the coming months, AIB expects to unveil the next phase of banking innovations through The Lab. These will include person-to-person payments, a personal financial management tool, a new small-medium enterprise online proposition and an alert functionality that gives customers more control of their finances.
The LAB will continue to evolve along with new technologies, helping AIB and its customers get the most from the bank’s digital self-service channels.
Director of Personal, Business and Corporate Banking for AIB