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Automating the Branch

1961Royal Bank was the first Canadian bank to install a computer, an IBM 1401, occupying a full room and used for accounting purposes.
1963Canadian banks adopted the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) system for encoding and processing cheques.
1964Royal Bank opened its first computer centre in Montreal permitting routine functions to be performed on a larger scale outside the branch by a special department and allowing branch staff to focus on customer service.
1967Royal Bank revolutionized Canadian banking by making the first banking transaction – a deposit – using a computer.
1968The end of the 1960s saw the automation of mortgages, securities, mutual funds and the beginning of automated client services such as payroll and cheque reconciliation. Several major systems directly affected clients such as on-line savings, loans and term deposits and the introduction in 1968 of Chargex (Visa).
1973Online computer banking was established in more than 140 branches.
1977Over half of Royal Bank’s branches in Canada used online banking services, and by the end of the 1970s, over 90 per cent were at least partially automated.
1979Royal Bank introduced The Calculator Daily Interest Savings Account. The application of computers to banking processes revolutionized traditional banking services and permitted the introduction of new services that better met consumer needs.
1986Royal Bank installed the first prototype of a PC-based Branch Sales Support System in Mississauga, Ontario transitioning paper-based branches to an electronic environment and removing “back office” functions out of “sales and service.”
1989There were now nearly 6,000 PC workstations in branches across Canada. The use of personal computers offered more efficient information delivery and management systems and improved both customer service and decision-making at the branch level – allowing branch employees more time for sales and service.
1991Burlington, Ontario’s Guelph Line and Mainway “super branch,” a highly automated branch open 24 hours a day, was designed to serve as a model for Royal Bank branches of the future by testing new bank products and enhanced features.
1996On average, Royal Bank processed six million electronic transactions and five million cheques daily.
2001Pilot testing of Moody’s Financial Analyst was conducted, an online risk assessment tool for account managers, ahead of planned implementation in February 2002.
2010A new retail store concept was introduced, creating an approachable environment where clients can interact with employees and our technology in an enjoyable and engaging way. The interactive applications are designed to ease clients into initiating conversations about their needs and profile how we can help them meet their financial goals.