NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Royal Bank of Canada’s top regional executive yesterday estimated that 15 percent or less of its Bahamian clients are now engaging in ‘over the counter’ transactions.
Rob Johnston told Eyewitness News Online, the digital transition as an ‘unstoppable trend’.
“There is no doubt that banking is changing,” he said.
“What has been happening globally is now beginning to make its way to the Caribbean. You’re seeing digitization, centralization and all the concepts that help make organizations more efficient are now coming to life.
“The good news is that the application of those technologies is making it easier for clients. They now have choices as to how, where and when they bank. Historically it would have been long lines at the bank in a crammed banking hall.”
Johnston continued: “Now I would say about 85 per cent of all transactions Bahamians do will be through an ATM, online banking, mobile banking or telephones call centers. Very few now are through the traditional banking hall.
“We are still here and will be here forever providing over the counter service but it’s typically now for problem solving and more complex requirements people have that can’t be solved digitally.
“I see that as the future. Bahamians will continue to shift from how they have banked historically and take advantage of the new capabilities available to them. It’s very much a trend that is unstoppable.”
RBC announced its digital strategy back in 2017, a move which eliminated numerous manual in-branch transactions.
Johnston noted that the Central Bank’s recent launch of a digital version of the Bahamian dollar was very much in line with RBC’s vision.
“The government though the Sand Dollar project has signaled their interest in actually accelerating Bahamian utilization of technology,” said Johnston.
“It is absolutely consistent with what we see with our own processes and products moving toward. We are a part of the pilot and we are hopeful that it meets all the success criteria they have,” he added.