ECONOMY

Banks train staff, add ATMs in preparation for Olympic Games

Increased training of staff and upgrades to technological networks are among the steps being taken by Greek banks as they prepare to serve the hordes of visitors expected to arrive this summer for the Olympic Games. ATMs will be able to serve customers in a larger number of languages, as demand for the electronic service is expected to rise by about 30 percent this August in comparison with previous years. ATMs will offer instructions in up to six languages. Commercial Bank’s ATMs will communicate in English, Greek, German and French, while Piraeus Bank has gone the extra step with instructions also offered in Italian and Spanish. Greece’a largest bank, National, has earmarked 36 branches across Greece as being better prepared to serve Games-related customer traffic, with some of these branches staying open until 8 p.m. The group will also install another 30 ATMs to its existing 1,250 network by August, additions which will also serve the bank’s broader strategy. Banks have also taken additional steps to ensure that the ATM’s will be restocked with increased security measures and that extra technical assistance will be available. Alpha Bank, which is also the official bank sponsor for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, will open another four branches this summer for the world’s largest sporting event. The Main Press Center which will host about 5,500 press members in Athens’s north and the Hilton Hotel will be among locations where Alpha Bank is to set up shop. Staff training is among the areas Commercial Bank has focused on, as it aims to sharpen its staff’s skills in banking activities, expecting to see higher demand in the use of credit cards and travelers checks.