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Alternate Delivery Channel—A world of possibilities

By Eyad Al Qudsi

Technology has been evolving constantly; ever since World War II, it has never been in halt status. The increased competition and rapid acceleration in manufacturing, acquiring, and releasing technology has put all nations under a continuous technical revolution—to the extent that their advancement is no longer measured by their military strength and readiness, but rather by their technological competence. Technology has given rise to a new, peaceful armed service called ‘Channels’.

A channel is a gateway for execution of a service. A channel can be an office, media, tool, or an application; it can be manipulated by human interaction or through a systematic front-end interface.

The ‘Alternate Delivery Channel (ADC)’ approach emerged as a result of a pressing need to ensure proper handling and communicating of scattered services, products, and/or commodities that were previously not following a systematic process flow. ADCs have evolved gradually and adapt to serve consumer needs at their convenience. ADC serves as an alternate to complement the existing delivery channels. At this stage, it cannot be considered as a replacement to the existing structured delivery channels, but rather as an advanced interface to leverage the use of any service that is also being offered through conventional channels. For more than 20 years, ADC has proven its ability to meet consumer’s expectations by ensuring accuracy, convenience, and timeliness in service 24/7.

In the banking sector, Alternate Delivery Channels are channels and methods for providing banking services directly to the customers. Customers can perform banking transactions through their ATM, contact the bank’s Call Center for any inquiry, access the digital Interactive Voice Response (IVR), perform transactions through Internet Banking, and even on smartphones through mobile banking, etc. These channels have enabled banks to reach a wide consumer-base across geographies.

ADCs ensure the smooth flow of regular transactions and provide banks with higher profits with lower operational expenses and transaction costs. “Channelize through channels” is the new paradigm for banking today, which in earlier times relied solely on the branch network – where expanding the business meant adding more branches at high real estate and licensing costs.

The evolution of Alternate Delivery Channels has changed the dynamics of the branch network. The traditional branch services which included, Cheque/Cash deposits, Teller Services, etc. have now shifted to other channels; ADCs have now become independent of branch to provide unique services including, Cheque/Cash withdrawal, Foreign Exchange services, Funds Transfers, Bill Payments, and now even mobile top-ups. This exponential expansion of services has now made the customers more inclined towards ADCs.

Alternate Delivery Channels

One of the growing tools of ADC is the invention of mobile banking or m-Banking, which is now even changing the dynamics of ADC. With inclusion of thousands of mobile applications, mobile banking applications are now also becoming the part of the regular services provided by the bank. Customers are now expecting m-banking as a default service from the banks. The above figure shows the evolution of ADCs vs. the Branch Network, and predicts the future trend of ADCs.

In addition, the inclusion of the Social Media has also set new standards and articulated how ADC is expected to act in the near future, which certainly will eliminate the entire need of any human interface and full dependency on technology and its gadgets.

Some of the expected scenarios that would take place in less than 2 years, is linking customer’s account through Social Media, which will enable the customer to manage all his accounts and facilities with different banks, plan his budgetary and retirement plans, etc. Furthermore, and on the other side of the river, it would create an environment of competition among international banks to acquire more customers and better business opportunities and, of course, by maintaining the highest level of security to ensure risk-free interaction.

To cope up with this growing trend, ADCs must be backed by reliable technology; banks have to ensure data trafficking, server capacity, privacy issues, and disaster recovery sites. Technologies should be under continuous review and evaluation to avoid any adverse situations that could affect customer satisfaction.



Eyad Al Qudsi is a seasoned Banker with more than 15 years of experience. Eyad has worked with the leading banks of UAE, specializing in Alternate Delivery Channels. Eyad is currently associated with Al Hilal Bank as a Head of Alternate Deliver Channels. In addition, Eyad is a Team Leader Assessor at Sh. Khalifa Award and a qualified Senior Assessor at the European Foundation Quality Management Group.



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