Business

Fidelity focused on Family Islands, reopening Marsh Harbour branch after $1M refurbishment

Fidelity Bank is bringing a more people-centered approach to banking in 2022, while embracing the global transition to digital transactions, by bringing services back to the Family Islands and reopening its Abaco branch, following a $1 million renovation and transformation two and a half years after Hurricane Dorian devastated the infrastructure, the bank’s group Chief Executive Officer Gowon Bowe said yesterday.

During a press conference to announce Fidelity’s rethinking of its private client and merchant relationships this year, Bowe explained that while other banks have foisted digital transformation onto their customers, Fidelity plans to help its customers understand digital services but still provide the in-person services that some customers prefer.

“Forcing digital banking on persons is not the right approach… engaging them, encouraging them, showing them the merits and the benefits of doing so but, most importantly, showing them that they don’t need to physically touch someone as long as they are confident that they can always engage with someone on a personal level,” said Bowe.

“We have long maintained ourselves in the Family Islands by engagement with people in the communities. If you’re able to do all that you need to do without a physical presence and you’re confident that when you pick up the telephone you can get through to the entire fidelity team, then you’re confident that any challenges and troubles that you may have, you’ll be able to engage with.”

Bowe said Fidelity plans to strategically place automated banking machines across The Bahamas to ensure banking continuity for Family Island residents. He added that the bank is also continuing to work with The Central Bank of The Bahamas on Sand Dollar integration.

“This year, we’re going to see some new elements from the Fidelity Group’s merchant services and the move to digital banking,” Bowe said.

He added that the bank has introduced digital services like “Click and Pay” for small business people and plans to put more terminals in the hands of merchants, so that they can accept digital payments.

Fidelity’s President Gregory Bethel said the bank’s Abaco branch will be reopened before the end of the first quarter of 2022, with newly recruited and trained staff. 

“We are really excited to be back in Marsh Harbour and reaching out to the businesses in the communities around Marsh Harbour,” said Bethel.

“We will have outreach in Exuma and in Eleuthera. We are going to show the Family Islands how banks treat, welcome and provide services to people in the Family Islands with all of our digital platforms but, not only that, with our people on the ground building relationships. We don’t push you on a platform and disappear.” 

Bethel said the bank has trained greeters and ambassadors to ensure their clients get a personal touch when using technology. He added that Fidelity senior executives plan to visit each island to meet with community members and businesses to listen to their perspectives on the banking needs on their islands.

“We will find a way to get it done, that is our commitment,” said Bethel. 

Bowe said in 2022, Fidelity is committed to ensuring the relationship between the bank and its clients is a mutually beneficial one. Yesterday Bowe, Bethel and several other staff members wore orange shirts to usher in this new level of customer service, with the orange serving as a nod to vitamin c and a person’s physical health.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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