The bank branch of the future is digital, multi-service and focused on customer relations
The trend for bank evolution is clear with a focus on digital the top priority. Yet, what’s also widely argued is that the physical bank branch continues to play an important role in the financial channel in a number of ways. As a point of access to cash and value-added services for both individuals and companies, the bank branch reinforces its relevancy as a consulting and sales space.
Despite the continuing migration to mobile banking and the looming presence of challenger banks that offer innovative eye-catching services, many customers still prefer face-to-face communication in bank branches.
Because of this, the challenge will be to focus on renewing the digital offer while enhancing the strengths of the branch in which the customer is at the centre of the banks’ innovative strategies.
What the branch of the future will look like
In the context of the omnichannel bank, the transformation into an evolved branch is based on three main factors that will have a profound effect on the professional role and skills of the branch staff:
- a perfect integration of the various banking channels
- the adoption of radically new branch models without cashiers and with multi-function ATMs,
- advanced digitisation and automation to improve internal processes and skills. This factor especially will have a positive impact on the operating model in branches, including personalised sales that are based on data and management of requests in real time.
With redesigned spaces and investments that are concentrated on the creation of hub-type formats, both the customer care processes, and reception will continue to evolve digitally, with a specialisation in financial services consultation and a concentration on locations where there is the greatest customer traffic.
The transformation of the branch model changes the customer journey
Customer centricity and satisfying the needs of the customer are increasingly becoming the reason for branch transformation, with particular attention to ensuring the themes of customisation and instantaneous response are incorporated into the user experience.
The main priority of this approach is to provide the customer with a wide range of options for interacting with the bank, creating an environment in which the customer is not only able to operate in complete autonomy, but can also be assisted in case of need. This provides the branch with all the tools to efficiently manage the various channels and operations.
Strategically, it is sufficient to identify the most appropriate customer management methods in the various phases of the customer journey, with the combination of each phase for the most appropriate tool or channel to meet the need. An omnichannel approach includes not only the integration but also the interaction between the different channels, giving the bank the possibility of offering the same services in a “seamless” way and being able to monitor the most used services on each channel. This results in a better understanding of the needs of the customer and their behaviour.
From the moment they enter the branch, the user will perceive greater functional simplicity, leading to the image and perception of the bank being strengthened.
Technologies for the branch of the future
In the coming years, banks will increasingly use new technologies to integrate and improve the current model, optimising the relationship with the customer regardless of the channel with which they wish to contact their bank.
A simple technology that allows the self-service channel to evolve into assisted self-service gives customers the chance to have access to a 24 hour help desk that is open all days of the week, expanding the range of services accessible on ATM and ASD (ASD – Assisted Self-service device, or ASST – Assisted Self-service Terminal). This is in addition to proposing a new form of support and complete assistance that evolves into Customer Education and Retention which improves the experience of all users, including particular categories with specific assistance needs.
In the new branch model, when a customer inserts their card in the evolved ATM, the system recognises them. The employee in charge of welcoming customers in the branch – aka “Greeter” – receives a notification on their tablet. This notification has updated information and suggestions of personalised offers related to financial or insurance products. The smart tablet thus becomes a useful tool for branch staff to present customers with new banking products, providing them with a tailored customer experience.
ATMs inside or outside the branches will no longer be used only to provide cash, but they will also be able to provide individual users with a series of tailor-made services.
The support technology for the new branches is one that allows cross-channel integration on self-service and self-service assisted devices, enabling innovative functions such as contactless transactions or so-called “PIN services”, as well as services provided at the counters, such as cashing a cheque or withdrawing an amount that exceeds the pre-defined threshold for the specific user.
Redesign your branch with WWS
Find out more about the WWS modules that implement technologies for the bank of the future