Branches are dying out—tellers are being replaced by technology. We’ve been hearing this buzz for years, and especially in recent times with the influx of automation and demand for mobile, digital, always-on service. Traditional banking is an antiquated experience of the past.
Or, is it?
Today, there are still 12,244 bank branches per 100,000 adults, according to The World Bank International Monetary Fund Financial Access Survey. That’s about one branch for every 12 people—no small number.
The question is, what are consumers doing at these branches?
The reality is, there are many basic banking tasks that consumers still prefer to conduct in person. Those include opening simple deposit accounts, applying for loans and meeting with wealth management advisers. Consumers might use digital and automated tools to access cash. But they still want a human touch when they do business, according to a 2019 Deloitte Global Digital Banking Survey.
So, how does a bank deliver a digital and personal experience that feels seamless? Today more than ever, financial institutions must focus on creating an integrated physical-to-digital journey so consumers feel every bit as comfortable speaking to a teller as they do engaging with a bank app. When an in-branch experience leverages technology, the teller becomes more than a transaction-processor and instead acts as a guide.
Tech in the Teller Line—Introducing Digital Innovation
Branches are just as relevant today as they were a decade or even a generation ago. But, what’s different is how branches can be equipped with tools and technology to deliver a personalized experience. The modern branch is a key to earning customer loyalty and sustaining relationships, and transforming the teller line is how progressive banks can integrate digital and physical experiences.
Take a look at your existing teller system. If you’re like many banks, the system is older than the staff. But replacing the core banking platform to update the teller line can be cost-prohibitive. So, is the answer to continue doing the same-old? Not at all. Financial institutions can update their teller systems and keep the core foundation intact by investing in a mobile, connected teller system that links to the core and other channels via APIs.
Mobility is the key word. The modern teller does not need to be stationed at a desk, positioned in front of a queue. By implementing a teller system that can be accessed on any device, including tablets and smart phones, banks can accommodate consumers’ desire for an in-branch experience with digital conveniences.
Because of mobile devices, tellers can offer more personal service as problem-solvers. They can approach consumers and elevate the customer service experience as opposed to sitting at a station while clients wait their turn. Mobile technology empowers branch staff to build relationships with clients in a less formal, more organic way.
Give Tellers Freedom—Tablets Deliver a Moving Experience
Mobile devices position the teller as a concierge who can assist consumers with self-service and complex transactions positions. They can guide consumers through anything from pre-staged transactions to completing loan applications. By equipping the branch with soft seating and café style accommodations, tellers can meet with consumers—a departure from the transaction-focused arrangement in a traditional branch setting.
Not to mention, investing in a teller system with shared transaction processing opens up opportunities for conducting transactions across multiple channels. A consumer can start a transaction digitally and complete it in-branch, or vice-versa. This seamless transfer back and forth between digital and physical environments can be simple when the architecture is in place.
Banks that adopt a modern teller system can accommodate consumers’ demand for a human touch and technology. Ready to reimagine your branch? Vynamic Teller, part of the Vynamic Transaction Engine suite, can fully integrate your channels and evolve the in-branch experience for consumers. Create a more flexible branch environment so you can meet consumers where they are. Learn more at DieboldNixdorf.com/Vynamic.
This content originally appeared in the May issue of RBR’s Banking Automation Bulletin.