The death of traditional bank branches is widely predicted but even digital natives have to live in a physical world. Our latest research study, The Age of Omnichannel Banking, has found that despite high digital adoption, customers still want to use the branch for some types of interaction.
The research analysed the omnichannel performance of 11 high street and challenger banks, looking at two important ‘bricks and clicks’ journeys – from digital to branch and in-branch to digital – as well as benchmarking claims management software, service and decision support functionality in branch.
Transform found that retail banks typically offer a fragmented and channel-siloed experience with business banking software and only 3 of those studied offering any kind of click for appointment capability and 4 failing to integrate digital in-branch. Barclays and NatWest led the omnichannel field, Barclays with its coding playgrounds, digital eagles and beacon technology and NatWest with its seamless digital to branch transition, but banks are generally immature, trailing behind in the wider retail sector.
Tomorrow’s client reporting system will need to reinvent retail banking and we expect to see a dramatic change in the types of branches available such as a skinny self-service branch. Customers will be looking for a far more integrated cash management system, both for sales and service. Those branch networks that don’t become more customised will increasingly struggle to compete in a market where it’s now considerably easier to switch between client reporting software.
The future of retail banking will require more than digital technology solutions. It will need to be underpinned by the right systems, process, data and people with a continued cultural shift towards deep customer-centricity.