Online sales boost profits at Alliance & Leicester

Technology is enabling a self service culture in banking, if the result of one high street bank can be taken to reflect a general trend.

Web-based self service technologies have helped Alliance & Leicester boost pre-tax profits to £290m in the year ending 30 June 2007, up from £257m  in the equivalent period last year. The bank reported increasing reliance on its online banking channels, with more than 40% of its core retail banking products being sold online.

Alliance & Leicester attributed this 40% surge to its efforts to "encourage self-service to our customers". Online business has grown by 30%, it reported. It also stated that the increase in the number of ATMs has also increased productivity.

The bank is replacing its legacy systems for personal customer current accounts, savings and personal loans.

Banks are getting better at service culture, said Simon Niesler, sales director at Kana, a multi-channel customer service consultancy. "First-generation service technology focused on cost-cutting. Today technology should balance a good customer experience with cost-effective delivery. The next step is that customers are demanding additional service channels above and beyond the phone."

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Kana website  >>

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