Dubai-based Mashreq bank is planning to spend around $750,000 on revamping 15 branches with high-tech new features in a bid to grab market share in the competitive retail banking sector.

Speaking at the launch of the new services at the lender’s Dubai Mall branch, chief executive Abdulaziz al-Ghurair said, “Hopefully we will get rewarded with more customer loyalty and that will lead to increased market share.”

The new features, known as Smart Banking, rely less on speaking to bank staff directly and more on interacting with the bank through a variety of touchscreens that enable customers to open accounts, or apply for personal, car or housing loans. Mashreq also offers to hand over a cheque book, debit card and credit card to new customers 30 minutes after an account is opened.

Al-Ghurair said they experienced a 36 per cent increase in footfall at branches where Mashreq had trailed the new services.

He added that by adopting new technology into its existing branch network staffing levels at each branch could be reduced, giving the bank the opportunity to open more branches without having to employ more people.