World branch report 2017
The World Branch Report 2017, entitled “Digital Branch Transformation – The Evolution of Branch Banking” surveyed decision-making bankers from across the globe in order to examine the role bank branches play in the current digital era and in a time of mobile-first thinking, and gather insight into where branch banking is trending. As a leader in digital branch transformation, Synechron sought to focus around four key areas, including the current market perception of the bank branch, where banks are investing in branches, how new technology can enhance the branch model, and what role staff will play in the bank of the future. Some key findings include:
- Survey shows 88% believe physical branches add value to customers and will play a role in the future of banking
- Nearly a quarter (24%) intend to increase their branch network and invest in changing the model, yet nearly one in four (39%) said they plan to decrease their branch networks whilst investing in change to the current model.
- 63% of respondents are planning to change their branch model in line with digital transformation.
Over recent years, the number of bank branches have been in steady decline with significant closures across the US, Europe and the UK. However, this new research suggests that 88% of the bankers surveyed believe that physical branches add value to customers and will continue to play a significant role in the future of banking.
Retail and Consumer Bankers are predominantly looking towards technology to improve the in-branch customer experience and evolve the role of their staff as opposed to motives around reducing cost and reducing FTEs.
The top focus area for branch transformation as identified by those surveyed is to improve customer service/engagement, which 42% identified as a priority, followed closely by the evolution of the role of branch staff (40%). This, however, is followed closely by introducing digital interactive experiences (38%) and self-service automated technologies (36%).
The bank of the future will continue to have a physical presence, as 97% of bankers agree that only people can bring an emotional connection to the bank, and their role will be focused on bringing the relationship connection with the bank. However, 62% of respondents are planning to reduce overall headcount in bank branches. While the traditional branch model historically was centred around transactions, the branch of the future will evolve to serve as an advisory service hub, complimented by digital experiences and employing bankers with specialized skills that combine sales and service responsibilities.
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