A first step towards “self-service banking”: the “Service B”

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This photo shows the window of a Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) branch located at 39 avenue Victor Hugo in Paris. An electronic display attached under the logo sign indicates the presence of an automatic teller machine and another sign indicates “Service B”. One also sees a customer inserting his bankcard in the slot of the entrance door in order to access the automatic teller machines.

Bank ATMs, rolled out beginning in 1981 in the BNP branch network, hold a key place in its strategy to promote itself as a services bank. The ability to consult one’s account balances or the history of the past 10 transactions, to make cash deposits or to transfer between accounts, are some of the services that BNP consolidated under the “Service B” term. To complete the ATM system, BNP created the personalised BNP bankcard, baptised the “service B” Bronze Card, which holders can use to benefit from a specific range of services in its installed base of ATMs. At the end of November 1983, BNP distributed more than 10,000 copies of its new card. The “Service B” paves the way to the “consulting” bank because it frees branch personnel from the daily management of current operations.

Service B presentation to customers

BNP Paribas Historical Archives
BNP Paribas Historical Archives
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