There is no denying that for nearly a decade, the banking industry has been all about mobile. From remote deposit capture to account opening, advancements in mobile technology continue to move at light speed. Some industry players have even made the argument that the bank branch is dead, as today’s consumers increasingly rely on digital channels. Looking at the research, how-ever, that is absolutely not the case. In fact, according to a recent Celent survey, consumers visit the branch twice as often as they access mo-bile banking applications. Why? Because they still value human interaction when it comes to their personal finances, making the branch the #1 sales and customer engagement channel among many global banks.
But while we believe the bank branch is here to stay, it is changing and 2015 will undoubtedly be the year of branch transformation. As banks try to navigate this new high-tech, high-touch retail environment, what will this transformation look like?
Recently, we’ve seen the rise of the “mini” branch – full-service branches that are significantly smaller than a conventional branch and conveniently located,, providing customers with the option of face-to-face banking while banks significantly reduce their footprint and operational costs. This trend will likely continue into 2015.
Next year, we’ll also see an increase in the use of self-service kiosks to conduct transactions traditionally completed by tellers, empowering customers to decide how they want to bank. This trend also enables banks to create untethered, universal bankers that can fulfill more consultative, sales-focused roles.
Mobile banking will never completely replace the branch, but it will certainly remain a critical component of a bank’s success. Banks that choose to ignore either channel, especially the branch, will face significant customer service and engagement challenges. Customers will continue to expect face-to-face interaction with their bank – and the wisest banks know this.
Source: Suzi McNicholas