KBC Bank opens its first 'pop-up' outlet in Dublin
KBC BANK Ireland opened its first “pop-up” outlet over the weekend as part of the bank’s drive to gather more deposits and inform customers about the bank’s products.
The “pop-up information centre” in Dublin’s Dundrum shopping centre is aimed at extending KBC’s reach outside a branch network without the high costs of increasing branch numbers.
Dara Deering, head of retail banking at KBC, said the outlet would help accommodate customers who work during the week and who are unable to visit the bank’s office in Dublin city centre.
“Dundrum is the perfect location for the first pop-up, with shoppers able to drop in, sit down and chat with staff in a relaxed environment,” said Ms Deering.
Pop-up outlets will open in Mahon Point shopping centre in Cork on the weekend of November 10th and 11th, and Scotch Hall shopping centre in Drogheda on November 24th and 25th.
Belgian-owned KBC has been competing aggressively in the savings markets for the past year offering some of the highest interest rates, more than 4 per cent, to depositors and savers.
Deposits rose by €500 million during the first half of the year as 8,000 new customer accounts were opened following the introduction of three new products, including a deposit account that pays interest up front.
As part of profile-building by the bank, KBC plans to open a new branch in the former Aviva outlet on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin in early December.
KBC has branches in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast, but they have not traditionally been retail outlets. The bank is looking to change its offices to make them more focused on retail.
“Our customers are saying that they want physical contact and the pop-up allows us to do that. It is kind of like banking on the move and it is where banking is going,” said Aidan Power, head of brand, marketing and e-channels at KBC.
KBC’s pop-ups come at a time when other banks are closing branches. AIB is closing 67, or one in every four, of its branches as it seeks to reduce costs to return to profitability, while Permanent TSB is shutting 19 of its 92 outlets.
Bank of Ireland has said it has no plans to close branches as it views its network as essential to selling products to customers.