A customer walks from a Westpac bank branch in Sydney November 3, 2014.
A customer walks from a Westpac bank branch in Sydney November 3, 2014. Reuters/Jason Reed

To introduce hi-tech banking system, Westpac is planning to shrink its branches and invest the saved money from it. High technology will enable new customers to interact well with the bank and generate more revenue.

Westpac is putting efforts in advancing its service system, but at the same time, it knows that speaking to a human being is what every customer prefers. The additional amount of AU$200 million will be spent on the growth and efficiency initiatives, Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer said at a strategy update in Sydney.

“This means concentrating our spend on technology, on digital, on simplification, as we hone our focus on service,” he said, adding, “By investing in digital, we can use technology to redesign the customer experience, making things simpler, easier and better for our customers and our people.”

It has been seven months since Hartzer succeeded Gail Kelly and he is now planning to make sure the profit grows in the economic slowdown. His aim is to satisfy Westpac customers completely and deliver faster and efficient financial service. He told the analysts on Monday his goal of making the company one of the best financial service providers in Australia like Amazon, Ritz-Carlton or Disney.

Hartzer wants Westpac to have around one million new customers by 2017, which accounts to 10 percent hike on current number of consumers. To ensure achievement of this goal, it is important that the annual investment is boosted by 20 percent enhancing the amount to AU$1.3 billion. The Westpac branches and online products will remain the key focus of the company and its premier.

Hartzer said that the banking professionals are expecting that within three years, 550 branches would be converted to the new format. “Banking is undergoing a transformational change. The measures we have outlined today will deliver a step change in the service we provide to customers, while at the same time improving our efficiency and productivity,” he added.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.