Successful Branch Transformation Begins with the Consumer

The way consumers bank is undergoing a fundamental change. With the proliferation of mobile and online banking, self-service devices, and other innovative solutions, consumers have more options than ever when it comes to performing banking transactions. As consumers migrate towards digital channels, and as banking habits continue to fluctuate, Financial Institutions (FIs) are turning to Branch Transformation Strategies to accommodate the changes. When looking for new solutions and determining which Branch Transformation Strategies to implement, it is important for Financial Institutions to truly understand their customers’ banking preferences.

In response to decreased traffic at the branch, early adaptors of the Branch Transformation ideology took a reactive approach to the phenomenon by copying successful retail models, such as “Genius Bars” or coffee shops, in hopes of replicating their success. Additionally, many Financial Institutions deployed ITM technology in drive-up environments, giving customers minimal options in terms of how they could perform banking transactions. These FIs sought technology based on outdated practices and consumer habits, which ultimately failed to meet the changing needs and desires of their customers. Successful Branch Transformation should begin with the consumer, not merely installing new technology and strategies from other industries, like Apple or Starbucks. Progression in the industry is inevitable, and FIs must learn to adapt, or risk getting left behind. Building a successful “Branch of the Future” begins with the consumer.

What do consumers really want out of their banking experience? Let’s find out…

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As the industry changes, Financial Institutions must keep their fingers on the pulse of what consumers want and need in order to remain relevant. Although branch traffic is said to be declining, our study shows that 58% of consumers are still, in fact, making their way into the branch each month. Despite the recent rise in online and mobile banking, the average consumer still prefers individual, in-person assistance when performing sophisticated transactions, or making intelligent and informed financial decisions. The branch may not be necessary for all banking transactions, but consumers still want to have the option. This is where enhancing the customer experience becomes crucial.

In today’s increasingly connected society, the bar is set very high for an optimal customer experience. The banking industry is no exception. FIs need to rethink their approach to customer service, and create personalized touchpoints across all channels using Branch Transformation Strategies. New technologies and self-service applications that enable this concept must be taken seriously. Branch Transformation gives Financial Institutions the opportunity to become indispensable partners to their customers’ personal and business lives. Understanding consumer banking preferences is imperative in doing so, and to keeping the branch alive. Are you delivering the banking experience your customers expect?

NuSource Financial is helping banks and credit unions address ongoing industry changes by presenting innovative solutions, such as Hyosung’s MX8800, and consultative Managed Services Programs. For more information on how you can implement Branch Transformation Strategies, contact your NuSource Representative.

*Analysis based on responses from 100 individuals surveyed by NuSource Financial between November 30, 2015, and January 11, 2016.

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