The Future of Banking Hinges on Communication and Personalized Services

by Edward O'Brien 0

The way consumers think about banking is evolving and financial institutions are changing their business models to reflect this evolution.

Contrary to popular belief, the size of a financial institution has little to no influence on a consumer’s choice of bank. According to The State of Retail Banking: Consumer Survey 2016, the reputation of a bank matters to only 55 percent of respondents, whereas 68 percent are influenced by the bank’s location and office hours. Available products and services, as well as the rates for these offerings, will help shape the future of banking.

Communication Between Banks and Customers Is Changing.

The importance of communication between a bank and its customers shouldn’t be underestimated. While contact via phone is the least favorable solution, there’s still large demand for in-person meetings. The State of Retail Banking survey states that 61 percent of respondents would not feel comfortable at a branch with no teller and completely automated transactions. Alternatively, 65 percent of participants would be willing to schedule an appointment with a branch specialist to discuss their needs.

The evolution of bank branches continues onward, with an increasing emphasis on personal interaction, education, and advice. This movement toward a redefined branch channel has also been a key topic in recent Mercator Advisory Group Banking Channels reports on omnichannel banking and branch reconfiguration efforts. These studies highlight the importance that advice and personalized service is to banking customers today. And this interaction can occur in-person, or via virtual sessions on new-generation ATMs, kiosks, or virtual teller machines equipped with two-way video capabilities.

Overview by Ed O’Brien, Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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