Banks must keep Traditional Branches Alive, says new Report

Mark Aldred, banking technology expert at Auriga commented, “We welcome this study by Boston Consulting Group –  blending of digital and personal interactions to create a more responsive and cost-effective branch is something we have advocated for some time now. As banks increasingly digitalise their services, it’s essential that they retain the human touch. Customers want the convenience of online banking, without losing the personal service they get when they visit a branch.

We’ve already seen the emergence of this new breed of hybrid branch – Lloyds announced a similar approach just weeks ago, and it’s something that European banks have embraced well-ahead of their British equivalents. These new branches are able to offer customers a wider range of services using technology such as ATMs which customers are already familiar with. This means bank staff have their time freed up to advise customers – we’ve also seen some Italian banks use space freed up by technology as community spaces, supporting local businesses and community groups”.

The study further reveals that customers want to be able to choose how to engage with their bank, and that however they do so the service must be consistent and streamlined. “To make this experience a success, banks mustn’t underestimate the importance of ATMs when looking to strike the balance between digital and personal service. The right ATM technology can help banks to improve the customer journey through greater personalisation and by smoothly integrating solutions across a range of different channels.

The challenge to banks is to make sure there is a balance between customer autonomy and personalised support and advice – staff must be more than glorified receptionists.”

Author: Dylan Jones

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