Phoenix Synergistics: The New Digital Bank Branch

Mar 2018 | Branch Size and Configurations | Balancing Staff and Self-Service Automation | Transformation to Sales Centers

Survey Topics

  • Current Branch Environment
  • Provider Issues
  • Branch Activity
  • Branch Characteristics
  • Branch Improvements
  • Video Kiosks and Channel Integration
  • Branch Configurations


National Survey – The survey will include 1,500 online interviews with consumers age 18 or older.


  • Profile current branch behavior among consumers – measuring aspects such as frequency of monthly visits, location of primary branch, staff interacted with at the branch, and types of activities conducted. Assess the importance of convenient branches as a provider selection factor. Examine the role of branches in initial account acquisition and cross-selling.
  • Measure the extent to which consumer branch usage has increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the past five and one year time frames. Assess how other channels – such as ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking – have impacted branch activity.
  • Determine the motivations or reasons why some consumers use branches instead of other available – and potentially more convenient – channels. Investigate why some consumers choose not to use branches.
  • Assess consumers’ experiences with and desire for digital features and services in the branch environment – encompassing aspects such as multiple ATMs and self-service terminals, video links to staff for routine banking and marketing activities, free Wi-Fi, and advanced ID verification. Evaluate how experience with these services compares to interaction with tellers. Explore the potential for videoconferencing as a marketing channel.
  • Evaluate satisfaction with branches among consumers. Ascertain the importance of specific attributes such as transaction speed and accuracy, number and convenience of locations, hours of operation, up-to-date technology, and staff competence and friendliness.
  • Examine the intersection of consumer online technology with digital branching. Evaluate the potential for videoconferencing with branch staff by personal computer. Measure the value of mobile apps for contacting and interacting with the branch.
  • Identify consumer descriptors – such as demographic traits, behavioral patterns, or attitudinal variables – that are useful in designing and implementing digital branch configurations.

Key Dates

February 2018 – Initial results available.

March 2018 – Project Report available.

Integrating digital technology is a major aspect of branch transformation strategies. Financial institutions are carefully evaluating the impact digital technology can have as they design the branch of the future.  From the overall configuration of the branch to elements such as tablets, signage, interactive touch screens, and cash recyclers – the digitization of the branch is underway.

Streamlined digital facilities can include self-service and assisted self-service branches. Full-service traditional size branches can incorporate a full range of digital features. Often smaller branches have limited or no staff.  Some may have a concierge to assist with using digital equipment or to provide information on other types of services. Interactive videoconferencing can be used to reach a live teller or a specialist in a remote location. ATMs will play a major role as consumers begin to withdraw money using their smartphones. Technology will inform branch staff that a customer has entered the branch and has a pre-arranged appointment.

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.




Key Finding from a Recent Report:

In the 2016 Phoenix Synergistics survey, Reshaping the Role of the Branch, consumers had a mixed response to branch staff having tablets/iPads for assisting customers with transactions or opening accounts from anywhere in the branch.

Has this perception changed?




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