Phoenix Synergistics: Self-Service Banking at the Branch
The bank branch is evolving for the future in a number of ways – the size and configurations of branches, the way customers perform activities at the branch, and the role of branch personnel. Many providers are scaling back their branches in terms of size and personnel. These more streamlined facilities rely more heavily on self-service options and have a limited staff. Some are going further to offer fully self-service branches that have no personnel.
Most providers have been implementing self-service options at their branches. But, how far along the road to self-service are consumers? Self-service alternatives at the branch such as statement printers, deposit machines, ATMs or kiosks, tablets, and technology bars have been available for several years. These self-service devices allow branch customers to conduct transactions easily and quickly so that branch personnel are free to focus on providing financial advisory services and sales. Videoconferencing terminals located in branches allow customers to interact with representatives or product specialists in remote locations. For branches with limited staff, this contact with specialists can be particularly valuable for more complex financial products and services.
The role of branch personnel is also evolving. Providers would like branch staff to be more focused on consultative or advisory services and sales than on performing routine banking transactions. To what extent do consumers view and use bank representatives as financial advisors? All of these developments will change the way consumers use a bank branch and will change the look and feel of bank branches. As digital branch strategies continue to unfold, it is imperative to evaluate the perspective of the consumer. This study features 1,500 online interviews with consumers age 18 or older.