The evolution of consumer banking is rapidly changing. With new technological advances such as Personal Teller Machines to staff changes, the face of the traditional bank branch is changing.
Regular Visits to the Branch
Prior to the popularity of mobile and online banking, customers visited traditional branches to conduct banking transactions. We would walk into the branch, wait to be greeted by a personal banker if we needed assistance, or head straight over to the teller line, where we would queue behind others who needed to conduct their own routine transactions. This was the way daily consumer banking was done for 30+ years.
The Changing Bank Branch
In recent years, financial institutions of all sizes have spent a great deal of time and resources to provide online and mobile banking channels to their customers, who can now transfer money, check balances, get statements and deposit checks using a computer and/or smart phone. With such a rapid consumer movement to online and mobile banking, some in the industry theorized over the past few years that the humble bank branch might be becoming obsolete. What we know today is that the branch isn’t going anywhere, but it is changing. Financial institutions have been right-sizing the number of branches they operate, and tailoring the branch to the market appropriately using self-service banking solutions. An institution may operate a large flagship branch for one of their largest markets, or setup a micro-branch with kiosk machines for locations where they don’t see as much traffic. The push to change the branch from transaction-centric to sales-centric is driven by the high cost of maintaining a traditional brick-and-mortar banking channel.
Empowering the Changing Branch Staff with Self-Service Banking Solutions
If online and mobile banking has resulted in less branch traffic, staff members must make the most of every customer interaction to cross-sell, up-sell and provide outstanding service. The role of the teller is changing dramatically from conducting routine transactions to handling loan inquiries, demonstrating technology or answering financial questions. As financial institutions move toward this “universal banker” concept, there must be technology in the branch to handle the simple transactions. The Personal Teller Machine, a self-service banking solution, supports the Universal Banker concept by equipping the customer to handle 90% of transactions traditionally handled by a teller without teller assistance. As the role of the bank teller changes, technology providers must provide the solutions to help financial institutions implement new staffing strategies.