Taking a Glimpse at New Bank Branch Concepts

by Edward O'Brien 0

With fewer branches available to servicecustomers and members, financial institutions are assessing theircapabilities and figuring out how to do more with less. Thisincludes developing new processes and systems to meld the mostrelevant characteristics of self-service and full-service channelsto manage assets and deposits, which are rising even though thereare fewer institutions in most markets.

There have certainly been many novel ideas and changes in bankingchannels over the past few years. These innovations range from”envelopeless” intelligent deposit/deposit automation ATMs to thegrowth of mobile banking beginning with SMS/text to mobile Web todownloadable mobile apps to video tellers via remote branches andATMs, and to new thinking on branch reconfigurations.

Further advancements in banking channels can be seen in FIs of allsizes. A good example of channels innovation can be seen at Bank ofAmerica. The bank is in the process of deploying next-generationmachines, including some with video capabilities to remotecall/contact center personnel. These video-enabled ATMs enableaccount holders to cash checks and receive exact change, receivecash withdrawals in a variety of denominations ($1, $5, $20, and$100), or speak with a teller located in a call center duringextended hours.

Some of the new branch designs include the use of “minibranches”that occupy about 4,000 square feet, much less than the 8,000 to10,000 square feet typical of traditional branches. Someinstitutions are also deploying kiosks and tablets to better servetheir customers or members. These branches work in conjunction withtraditional and flagship branches in select markets, and they offera wide variety of choices for customers.

As 2013 winds down and strategic plans for 2014 and beyond arebeing developed and reviewed, FIs should be mindful of the many newand innovative services and processes being introduced to customersand should assess the relevance and applicability of such solutionsin specific markets and lines of business.