A few weeks ago, we attended our first in-person conference in London after many, many months of virtual events.
Auriga has always been present at the RBR Branch Transformation and BankSec conference in London, so it was a real pleasure to be back with a physical stand on November 30th – December 1st, and to be able to meet delegates face to face again.
A large turnout of nearly 3,000 people attended the two-day event which brought together banks, innovative fintechs, leading suppliers, press and industry analysts from all around the globe. Many were showcasing their latest banking technology with thought-provoking case studies and presentations and discussing the latest trends.
If you couldn’t attend the event, then not to worry, here is what you missed…
How banks are responding to new trends and changes
At the event, Mark Aldred, our VP of International Sales discussed the latest on how new trends and customer behaviours are affecting the future of the branch. As a result, some banks are closing their bank branches. This is primarily in response to the need to cut costs and the growing demand for digital and remotely accessible services.
This trend could have negative consequences, as there is a risk of completely de-banking some areas that deeply depend on in-person branches. In doing this, banks are neglecting a demographic that rely on a specific set of services. For example, senior citizens who prefer visiting their branch for all their banking needs, or customers who are used to direct, human contact with advisers.
Above all, by reducing the number of physical locations, this can lead to the dehumanisation of banks. When instead, banks should be leveraging the strengths of human relationships by through technology to design personalised experiences.
To address what was a major theme of the event, we showcased the latest developments in our #NextGenBranch solution for reducing costs while expanding and enhancing services in branches.
For example, we presented our Bank4Me and Fill4Me solutions at the show to demonstrate how to access all the branch services in self-service assisted mode around the clock and interact with bank consultants via video conference for more complex transactions in a safe and personalised way:
But the show was more than just an opportunity to outline what could be done, it was a fantastic platform for banks to share the experiences with putting the #NextGenBranch concept into action.
We were so proud to have our client Banca Carige, an Italian retail bank, talk about how they have launched their ‘Carige Smart’ branches using Bank4Me technology. In November 2021, Banca Carige opened three Smart Branches in Northern Italy, in the cities of Genoa and Sanremo. The fourth fully digital branch will be opened in Genoa in January 2022.
Within this branch, the “private areas” are equipped with remote banking workstations, which allows clients to access all the services of the bank in self-service mode and via remote assistance, including transaction/cash payments, sales activities, and advisory services. The biometric signature system allows consultants to offer a wide range of banking, financial and insurance products remotely.
Speaking at the conference, Silvia Doria Garzarelli, Head of Channels, Payment and Deposit Processes at Banca Carige spelled out the aims of the Carige Smart project as:
- Raise branch profitability by reducing operating costs
- Optimise personnel distribution and redeploy staff on more valuable activities, such as sales and advisory services,
- Provide high quality services to the clients,
- Boost digital transformation of the bank and customer relationships
- Maintain local roots
Banca Carige and Bank4Me caught the imagination of the media at the event too.
One of the UK’s most famous newspapers The Times interviewed Auriga about the future of the branch, and their article led with the Bank4Me approach. The full link to the article can be found here.
Some final takeaways
Digitisation is modifying the lives and habits of customers, and the banking sector must accommodate and grow with these developments. The whole world is going through a time of change, and it is crucial that banks analyse and respond to the new needs of customers, who require a personalised user experience and service choice.
Technology has become the key to creating better solutions for banks and consumers, from lower branch costs to higher operational flexibility, while offering users continuous access to all banking services.
For example, the increase of cyber-attacks this year also caused customers to rely on Auriga’s Lookwise Device Manager which provides an advanced set of security against the new generation of cyber-attacks based on malware. Also, Auriga plans to invest in a best-in-class platform that integrates technologies such as AI, machine learning, chatbots and voice banking in order to improve the user experience by adopting cost-effective innovations and remaining prominent in a competitive market.
The goal is to provide tools that can improve the channel banking experience for customers whilst enabling banks to define a truly omnichannel strategy that optimises and transforms in-branch and self-service products.