By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) will expand its night banking service to other key towns this year, following the success of its pilot project launched at the Wellawatte branch recently.
BOC’s Chief Marketing Officer Indunil Liyanage expressed confidence of the initiative being successful and said it would be rolled out in select provincial commercial hubs.
“Being on par with the development plans of the country, BOC is further studying other locations to venture into. Night banking will not be made available to all branches of BOC but only to cities where there is a need for such a service,” Liyanage told the Daily FT.
The State giant introduced night banking services (until 9 p.m.) at its busy and highly-patronised Wellawatte Branch, making it the first apart from similar services in the BOC’s Head Office Branch at Fort.
Liyanage said the central Colombo region was overlooked while selecting the launch of this service seeing that people visit Colombo mostly to engage in night life and not for trade, according to a consumer behavioural trend study conducted by the bank.
Wellawatte was selected on the fact that the location is multicultural with happenings round the clock and night trade is well-known to take place even in the latter hours of the day.
BOC Wellawatte branch will provide ‘Night Banking Service,’ targeting the business community, employees of private and Government sector who would like to conduct banking activities on their way home and people commuting from Colombo to Jaffna.
Liyanage said with BOC having satisfied customers with the right product, at the right price and with right promotion, the right place (the final P in marketing mix), was critical for night banking. For example BOC had strategically looked at the fourth ‘P’ (place), to an extent that minute details such as the branch falling on the left hand side of the Galle Road en route to Moratuwa being convenient to customers was considered.
Looking into the additional costs in terms of manpower and utility the BOC would have to endure by launching this initiative; it is willing to be taxed with this additional cost if it brings benefits to its customers. Further, identifying the risks the bank is taking to facilitate the service, Liyanage said: “The Bank of Ceylon will take up any risk to mitigate the risk of its customers.”
He also expressed confidence of BOC reaching its milestones in 2013 in terms of bringing in diversified services to its customers.