Access to financial services, particularly for rural communities, is a lifeline. Critical to this lifeline are not just bank branches but also ATMs. Branches and ATMs don’t just give out cash, they keep communities together, providing a crucial relationship between banks and their customers. The financial services industry has a responsibility to deliver choice to all customers regardless of how they want to access services, where they’re based or their net worth. Technology must make things better, not reduce choice and opportunity.
We know that banks are under increasing pressure to shrink their networks, but we risk cutting too much and ending up with a situation that is difficult to reverse. Branch networks may get smaller, but we need to make the ones that remain smarter. There are lots of options that banks evaluating their networks should consider.