Challenges Faced by Branch Banking

Emerico’s latest product, the X35 Assisted Teller Machine aims to enhance the customer experience for everyday banking. It is implemented with a variety of amenities such as ATMs, cheque, and cash deposit in one machine. Need a place to deposit loads of unused coins? The X35 also comes with a coin deposit where customers are also able to load coins into their account. Based on these specifications, X35 is built to provide a more inclusive banking experience due to the ability to provide services for all transactional exchanges. Customer no longer has to seek out separate silos to perform their banking needs as the X35 is built to process everyday transactions.

The incentive behind the X35 is that the bank branch is still a part of the customer’s daily life, thus widely used in many parts of the world. Although the frequency of branch banking has reduced due to the rise of alternative methods of banking such as mobile and internet banking, it remains relevant to a certain degree. Therefore, banks will need to form up ways to attract new customer and retain current ones to avoid losing revenue and brand presence. The main idea is to improve existing ATMs, cheque and cash deposits with the latest technology has to offer.

According to an article by Deloitte, branches are still considered the “frontline” for personal engagement with their customers, facilitating loyalty through trusted, face-to-face engagement. This contributes to the sense of branding and presence, providing customers the option and physical comfort whether it is performing currency deposits or withdrawals or acquiring bank products or when applying for loans. In addition to that, customers are able to seek financial advice from bank consultants a the branch. The human aspect of branch banking is still much needed in the ever-growing integration of digital technology.

Despite the long-standing reputation of traditional banks, many customers now have an abundance of choices. This leads to intense competition for customers between banks. According to the TransUnion, 80% of customers would shift banks to obtain a better experience, especially amongst Gen Z customers. As a result, many Millennials and Gen Zs are not exactly brand loyal, but rather choose the brand based on convenience and principle. As such, banks will need to take this into account when rethinking about their next marketing strategy. Speaking of which, collaboration with external companies is another are of which banks are currently exploring and implementing.

Fintech companies have been the most significant disruptor in the banking industry. However, over the past few years, traditional banks have been able to progress as a result of the partnerships with said Fintech companies. Fintech companies possess the flexibility and creativity to push beyond traditional bank services. According to the PWC Global Fintech report, 45% of its participants are currently partnered with Fintech companies, while another 82% are expected to increase partnerships in the next three to five years. Such collaborations are ultimately inevitable. In order to stay ahead of the competition, banks will have to rely on external partnerships as these Fintech companies possess the talent and technology to really compliment what banks need.

Branch banking is not going extinct anytime soon. Although traditional banks possess long-standing reputations as the hub of personal engagement for finance, it is insufficient in today’s digital world. With partnerships with Fintech companies, we will see the next stage development of the branch where the focus will be on customer satisfaction and improving their experience through the latest technology and digital omnichannel. Equipped with such innovations, banks will further provide convenience for the customers and as a result of that, retain their loyalty and acquire more in the long run. The skies are the limit.