German cooperative bank pilots NFC kiosks that turn branches into one-stop service points

Man using Volksbanken NFC kiosk as part of bank pilot
BANK PILOT: Volksbank customers can use the NFC kiosks to buy prepaid phone top-up and SIM cards

Customers of Volksbank Raiffeisenbank in Germany are taking part in the pilot of a self-service terminal designed to drive new revenue streams by making a wide range of additional services available in bank branches.

“The VR eKiosk is a virtual product shelf that, thanks to the globally unique combination of its hardware and software, enables completely new possibilities for the sale of products and services in bank branches,” the bank explains.

The kiosk is “an important component on the way from classic counter operations to omnichannel banking”, it adds.

For the pilot, the kiosks have been installed in 23 branches of the cooperative bank. Customers can initially use the kiosk to buy prepaid top-up cards and SIM cards for their mobile phone as well as instant vouchers for apps, games, music and other retail products.

Each is equipped to accept contactless payments and to verify a customer’s identity via biometric face recognition.

“The customer can not only buy prepaid mobile phone cards at the VR eKiosk and carry out the necessary identification verification, he even gets his ready-to-use SIM card directly from the terminal’s discharge chute,” says the bank’s Stephan Grüll. “Prepaid credit is also available at the VR eKiosk.

“In addition, an advertising marketing module is integrated in the VR eKiosk, which offers both national and smaller, regionally active companies very interesting and cost-effective advertising options on the 32-inch multi-touch screen.”

The bank will soon be adding a ticketing option to the eKiosk, enabling customers to buy tickets for entertainment, sport and leisure events as well.

“The ticketing module is the digital advance booking office of the future,” Grüll adds. “The customer can use this to purchase tickets for regional and national entertainment, culture, sports and leisure activities.

“The banks become fully-fledged advance booking offices for regional event partners and national tour organisers.”

Following the completion of the year-long pilot, Volksbanken Raffeissenbank plans to roll out the VR eKiosk to more than 9,300 branches of some 850 German cooperative banks nationwide.

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