Director Simon Bird shares his insights from the Branch Transformation 2019 conference.
The conversation about bank branches is really moving on. For years, the focus has been on how new technology and increasing digital interaction is making the traditional bank branch redundant. But now the talk has steered back towards the purpose of a bank branch – and excitingly – their untapped potential.
Banks are continuously trying to improve their customer services and products. To stand out in a competitive market, banks are testing new ways to capitalise on their physical, high street presence, while also harnessing their data more effectively to create better customer experiences.
Key themes discussed at the Branch Transformation 2019 conference included:
- Branches are a place for human interaction, and this is an important part of any bank’s omni-channel offer. Banks are adapting to allow for a more personalised service, this includes changing staff roles and transforming branch interiors so that customers feel more comfortable and welcome (some are even serving up fresh coffee!).
- Video consultation is growing. Technology is already making it easier for people to access most services from wherever they are in the world. Video calls are a clear growth area, allowing advisors to give a personalised, face-to-face service to customers who can’t access a branch. We are currently working with banks such as Ahli United Bank Kuwait to integrate video conferencing facilities into their branches.
- What more can a branch do? From providing café and co-working space (such as Santander’s Work Café concept), to offering postal services, some branches are providing valuable community facilities to draw in existing and new customers.
With this renewed focus on human interaction and finding new ways to engage with customers, we believe that the branch will continue to play an integral role in retail banking. Though the question we are asking ourselves is whether they should still be called ‘bank branches’!
At FDP, we are constantly looking at new ways to enhance the customer experience and ensure that the physical branches work hard for our client banks. To find out more, check out our latest projects and get in touch.