Allpoint Blog

The Path to Branch Transformation Success

A top-down, unified focus on delivering the experience customers need is required for successful transformation of the banking services branch, said financial services experts during a panel discussion, “Engaging Customers Through Branch Transformation and the ATM Channel” at last week’s BCX Summit held in Chicago.

The group was led by Brad Nolan, Cardtronics’ Managing Director and EVP, Global Product and Marketing.  Participants included Jay Bernstein, VP, Business Solutions Manager for First Midwest Bank; Mindy Mercaldo, Managing Director of Retail Banking for Citibank; and Pat O’Donnell, Senior Vice President at KeyBank.

The discussion started out with a recap of the evolution occuring in the financial services industry:

  • Traditional brick-and-mortar branches are closing, and being replaced by self-service, digital channels.
  •  Simultaneously, global cash usage is expected to grow, with demand raninging among regions and countries. For example, between 2015 and 2020, cash demand in Eastern Europe cash is expected to grow by €300 million, while in the US cash demand is projected to increase by $203 billion.
  • In the US,  72 percent of people say they still use cash regularly "despite more payment methods being available," according to Cardtronics' 2017 Health of Cash Study.
  • The panel then addressed the impact transformation has had on their branches and how they are transitioning away from being transaction-focused.

    Citi has used customer feedback to develop branches that are customer-centric in design and service. First Midwest is striving to help customers bank the way they want and when they want.  This has resulted in a move away from the traditional teller line and conversion to the Universal Banker structure.  KeyBank has turned its branches into centers of conversation and consultation, with the driver being financial wellness for customers.  Tools for helping customers improve their financial health have led to cross-sell functionality within the bank's technology platform.

    As for what hasn’t worked in branch transformation, the three banks agreed that speed in integrating new technologies, the ability to implement change within legacy systems, and maintaining the patience of customers have been challenges.   However, they all agreed that coordination across channels – the best way to combat these challenges – requires a unified, top-down approach to integration in order to deliver what the customer needs.

    The panel wrapped up with a discussion of the role of the ATM in branch transformation.  First, cash remains a top payment choice, making ATMs paramount.  As mobile adoption continues, the ATM will perform the services that the mobile channel can’t, such as serving the cash needs of consumers.  But it will also take on more functionality as the banking industry moves way from the traditional teller model.  

    Ryan Esquell

    Senior Sales Executive

    p.s. Want to read more about branch transformation?  Check out this series published on the Cardtronics Blog earlier this year.


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