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MUFG Bank readies paperless branch in Tokyo

Tablets and smart ATMs will turn transactions digital

The branch will allow customers to use bank cards to make transactions instead of requiring them to fill out forms. (Photo by Yumiko Oshima)

TOKYO -- The sight of Japanese bank customers waiting in line with paper tickets soon may become a thing of the past, as MUFG Bank opens a branch Monday in Tokyo dedicated to digital transactions.

The company aims to turn 70 to 100 customer outlets in Japan paperless by fiscal 2023, and a renovated branch in Meguro Ward serves as the pilot operation.

Consumers will use tablets and advanced ATMs to conduct basic transactions like paying taxes or sending money. Five staffers will assist customers with online banking using smartphones.

"We seek to cater to the diverse needs of our customers while also raising efficiency," said Naoki Hori, a senior managing executive officer of parent company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

Other transactions handled at the counter also will skip paper. Tellers will begin by asking for an ATM card so that customers can avoid filling out information such as their name and address.

Thirteen cameras will monitor customer behavior for analysis and to improve the design for other branches. MUFG Bank targets an April opening for a second pilot location in Osaka.

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