Automated Safe Deposit Box Services – A Game Changer in the UAE.

A “MAKE OVER” DRAGGING THE HUMBLE SAFE DEPOSIT BOX SERVICE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY

Did you know that the Safe Deposit Box has been in commercial use since the mid 1800’s. The service was traditionally provided by the banks and in due course commercially independent companies entered the market. The NEW YORK TIMES published an advertisement in 1865 on behalf of the first such independent Safe Deposit Box company which said. “Five Hundred Safe Boxes of Iron each with its own lock giving customers complete control of their box” and so the concept of an independent safe deposit box service was “born”.

Current Global Demand

Today an estimated 26 million safe deposit boxes are rented in the USA. Across countries in Europe, the benefits of private secure storage for items of Corporate or private personal value is a concept that is widely embraced.? In one European country as many as one in three adults rent a safe deposit box and in another the ratio is one in every five adults availing of a personal safe deposit box. Similarly, across countries in Asia and China, the concept of utilising a rented safe deposit box is common practice.

So Why is Demand so High and Access so difficult?

That said, the Safe Deposit Box sector has seen a very dramatic shift in recent years indeed in many countries across the world, the sector has become chaotic with demand far outstripping supply. The principle issue is not so much the growth in demand rather the decision taken by the world’s banks to withdraw from the provision of such services. Over the past ten years, banks across the world reacting to the financial crash of 2008, re-engineered their business model and in so doing, one of the “minor” consequences being that many global banks took the view that the provision of Safe Deposit Box services was no longer a core service. In some countries, banks have withdrawn completely and across the world, banks that provide the service out of necessity are increasing of the view that it’s not a business sector they wish to invest in. In fact, developments across the banking sector worldwide have made it almost impossible for banks to contemplate the development of an enhanced comprehensive Safe Deposit Box network.

In the UAE alone, the Major newspapers published an article showing that thousands of clients can wait for as long as five years on a waiting list to access a safe deposit box service and this simply mirrors the experience of millions of potential Safe Deposit Box users across the world.

So It’s all sorted now?

The changing dynamics of the sector led to a major revival of the independent safe deposit sector across the world with new traditional vaults being established in over 25 different countries over the past decade. Is it fair then to assume that the challenge has been met by the independent safe deposit box sector?

Now here is the thing, despite the response of the traditional private safe deposit box sector, the reality is that this traditional model can never replicate the service offered previously by local bank branch networks. You can’t service hundreds of thousands of clients spread across a country by developing a “Brand New Shiny Vault” in the Capital city.

A Service in Dire Need of a Make Over to remain Relevant in Today’s world.

Even if the “Traditional Safe Deposit Box Vault” sector can service that demand, the fact is that here is a traditional service in dire need of a “21 st. Century Make Over”. To remain relevant, the Safe Deposit Box service must adjust and reflect the needs of a modern progressive business and social environment that demands nothing less than Global Best practice. We must add value, service the existing demand and like any business, accept the responsibility to constantly reinvent ourselves so we create new markets who will benefit for the added value services we can bring to bear.

Please don’t misunderstand, mine is not to attack the “Traditional Safe Deposit Box Vault in the Capital”.

For many clients, that kind of traditional Bank or Independent vault environment provides the optimum storage solution but for many corporate or private clients, convenience, personal attention, privacy, and accessibility are critical components of the service that best reflects their needs.

MYSAFE is a convenient Safe Deposit Box service driven by the client and not one that has evolved to reflect the needs of the service provider. MySafe is not a less secure option because we have developed a concept that allows access in a convenient environment, in fact Global Insurance markets will attest to the standards inherent in our model. It is a different option, an automated, convenient, accessible model one that can offer significantly more flexibility and added value in ways that will challenge and complement in equal measure traditional service providers (be they bank or independent vaults). There is no “fight to the death” here, rather a realisation that in this industry sector, “to each their own” and MySafe can offer complementary services that best reflect the demands of an increasingly more discerning end user.

MYSAFE- AN AUTOMATED, INSURED, CONVENIENT SAFE DEPOSIT BOX NETWORK

The more we examined the dynamics underpinning the traditional safe deposit box service, the more we realised that the humble Safe Deposit Box must re-invent itself if it’s to play a role in empowering business and personal clients who have a requirement to store small items of value (be it corporate, personal, financial or sentimental.)

The traditional “you keep a key, I keep a key” model which demands your presence in the Capital City between 9 am and 4 pm to access the “Vault” has its place but there is a whole world of clients out there who have a requirement that is not best addressed by such traditional structures.

Some of the team were privileged to be involved in the dynamics that shifted the “humble” ATM from the exclusive preserve of the major banking hall and took it into the heart of the community by developing the concept of a convenient ATM Network such that today, you access you cash in a manner most convenient to you. The vision to develop a global convenience ATM Network bringing the capacity to access our cash in the mall, in the high street and yet making cash accessible utilising advanced technology changed the way we managed our cash with no dilution of the security associated with accessing our cash at the bank counter.

MySafe plans to do the exact same thing when it launches its first MySafe automated, insured Safe Deposit Box centre at the heart of the DMCC, at Platinum Tower, Jumeriah Lake Towers, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We plan to drag the humble Safe Deposit Box service into the 21st century.

We plan to drag the safe deposit box service into the 21st Century, give it a “Make Over” and by adding automation we enhance privacy, utilising advanced safe robotics and global standards of security we add automatic insurance cover. We inject flexibility and convenience and offer added value enhanced services that ensure that you can access your items of Corporate or Personal value privately at a location, time and manner most convenient to you.

We are proud to launch the concept in an environment where Automation, Innovation, Convenience and the utilisation of Advanced Robotics are embraced and recognised for the enhanced customer experience that ensues. For readers who share the vision please be assured we welcome your comments or expressions of interest as we work to change the way business and private individuals alike view the benefits of the “humble” Safe Deposit Box.

Terry Downes, CEO MySafe Vaults DMCC. terry@mysafe.ae

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