Despite the circumstance that mobile banking is a more preferred method for simple banking in today’s society, it does not disqualify the significance of branch banking. Rather, the role of the branch has slightly altered to not only provide standard amenities for everyday banking errands but also emphasize on more complex transactions where mobile lacks the system, such as loans or investments, bank employees becoming consultants in addressing enquiries and concerns of their customers.
One of Emerico’s flagship products is the V3 Cockpit Smart VTM, which is designed to fit the needs of any bank branch by providing the absolute necessities for its customers. From loan applications, account opening and bill payments, credit card issuance, the V3 Smart VTM is practically a branch on its own. It is also integrated with the latest in video technology for the purpose of connecting with a customer service officer remotely and assisting customers. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) is the testament of the capabilities of the V3 Cockpit where at one of their branches it was utilized as the main hub to perform one’s banking errands. ADCB also installed another V3 Cockpit in the Emirates Airlines Headquarters to accommodate their staff’s day-to-day banking errands. Additionally, new staff could also open a bank account there without having to traverse to a bank, thus further increasing the acquisition of customers.
It is clear that in order for legacy banks to compete in the market, they will need to adopt a digital transformation strategy. From providing a more omnichannel approach to banking for customers to digitizing the retail banking process, much of this will greatly benefit the customer experience. One of the benefits highlighted is that banks can relocate resources on things that matter, such as improving customer experience. Another would be the consolidation of data. The use of paper trails will diminish and resort to digital mediums, much to the delight of environmentalists. According to a Mckinsey article, one of the few suggestions highlighted was the interactive teller machines (ITM). Much of Emerico’s products fall under this category, where they function as a “branch in a box” by allowing 24/7 accessibility for customers. In contrast to the current machines available for customers, ITMs or Emerico’s VTMs provide additional service such as applying for credit cards, debit cards and certain loans. Security measures are also stepped up to provide biometric fingerprint scanners, passport readers and two-step authentication.
Another clear indicator of legacy banks being left out is the emergence of Fintech companies and startups. Penry Price, Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn, said that “Fintech firms are finding success with a customer-centric focus that fills in gaps left by traditional firms. These gaps opened doors to Fintechs but trust in traditional firms remain important to customers.” One of the reasons why Fintech companies are gaining traction is due to being able to leverage their innovations to develop solutions and services and offer them to the masses at a more affordable rate. According to Capgemini’s World Fintech Report 2018, more than 90 percent of Fintech companies proclaimed that the swiftness to adapt and constantly improving the customer experience is vital to competitive advantages. However, at the end of the day, financial service customers still hold a greater trust towards legacy banks compared to Fintech companies due to their long-standing brand recognition. Yet, the challenge of such a consequence is the increase of competition in the industry. Customers now have an abundance of choices and have the ability to enquire which has the best pricing online. This increases competitiveness between companies to acquire and retain customers. Such incidences may inspire a trend towards collaborative efforts between legacy banks and Fintech companies to not only provide a more seamless and smart experience for customers but also retain a competitive edge over other banks.
Although mobile banking has become the go-to method of performing everyday banking, this presents banks with an opportunity to shift their resources to more complex transactions. Branch banking will still provide the necessary amenities for everyday banking. As a result, bank employees will be required to diversify in terms of job scope to include product consulting and customer relationship. That way, bank employees and technology will work together to provide the best outcome for customers. In addition to the rise of competitiveness amongst banks, the relevance of Fintech capabilities and the credibility of legacy banks will also inspire more opportunities for partnerships to retain and acquire new customers and in the process reshape and improve the overall experience of customers.