IDC Financial Insights today released a new study, Branch Transformation in a Digital World, which discusses the current challenges faced by banks in managing their branch networks and outlines the best ways to transform them.
In the past, the branch was the fulcrum of the bank's relationship with its customers, but now with the rise of mobile and online banking, bank branches need to play a complementary role in an omni-channel strategy. The branch needs to support other channels where appropriate and deploy its unique asset of face-to-face contact at every opportunity.
Key findings in this new IDC Financial Insights study include:
"There has been much debate around banking centers on whether the branch is 'dead': this is an interesting theoretical discussion, but it has little bearing on reality. Also, it is useless for banks that are grappling with how to make the most of existing networks," saidLawrence Freeborn, senior research analyst, IDC Financial Insights. "Just as the rise of new technology has threatened the branch in the past few years, it also holds the key to their continued relevance. By implementing the right solutions, a bank can ensure that its branches are cost-effective and play their role in offering excellent customer experience."
"Branches are here to stay for decades and will continue to offer major competitive edge over digital-only financial services," said Andrei Charniauski, head of Europe, IDC Financial Insights. "This does not mean that banks can simply rest on their past successes — the branch must evolve consistently with other channels to continue delivering its unique value. Introducing innovative technology solutions will enable branch employees to serve clients in branches according to modern customer experience demands."