Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Automated queueing at BPI

In what I suspect to be a bid for efficient and paperless over-the-counter bank transactions, BPI has implemented an automated queueing system in their BPI-Philam Makati branch. I experienced this wonderful innovation today when I deposited to my account. I usually bank at the BPI branch at the KPMG building but when I got there shortly before lunch, the line was so long that I decided to have lunch first at Jollibee the Insular building. After lunch, I remembered that there was another BPI branch at the Philam building so I decided to go there instead of going back to KPMG. Getting inside the Philam building is like going through airport security; you have to pass through a metal detector doorway scanner and have your things go through the x-ray machine beside it. After subjecting myself to that tedious process, I went to BPI and found it odd that all the customers were seating. I asked the guard if there was a queueing system and he pointed me to the side of the entrance. I was expecting number tags hooked to door, or a ticketing device that prints numbers which will be called by the teller later; but I was not expecting to find touch-screen computer terminals. I gave it a try and I soon found out that before a number is issued to you, you have to input the transactions you are planning to do at the bank. But then, I thought, this would mean that there would be no more need to fill up deposit and withdrawal slips. I glanced at the counter where the forms are usually placed and sure enough, there were nowhere to be seen! I completed entering my account number and transaction amount, got my number and sat at the couch to wait for my number to be called. It still took 10 minutes before my number was called (I guess this is just because there were really a lot of customers), but when I got to the counter, I just handed my number and money to the teller and she already had all the transaction information in the system. She counted my money, gave me my receipt and I was off!

It would be really great if they could implement this in all of their branches and I do hope that all the other banks follow suit. It would take a bit of getting used to, especially for those who have aversions to technology but I'm thinking people can adapt. This would mean no more precious time wasted at lining up at banks. Now if only someone could apply this to doctor's offices and clinics, that would be sweet!

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