Internet finance, mobile banking, self-service banking — all are gaining in popularity as the Internet evolves and Financial Technologies (FinTech) emerge. In direct correlation, the role that physical bank branches play is changing.
While some banks appear to be shuttering branches, those that do remain open for business are adapting to this new environment, redesigning layouts and flow to offer more self-service channels (replacing manual service counters), for example.
However, this does not mean that branches are no longer important. Rather, branches now serve new functions and aim toward new goals.
Indeed, branches have an irreplaceable role to play in high-value business fields — from opening new accounts, through wealth consultation and management, to private banking — where customers tend to prefer face-to-face communication.
Furthermore, branches are important venues for delivering brand reinforcement, brand promotion, and service experience. In fact, only branches can provide the all-round customer experience that improves customer satisfaction and promotes loyalty.
Bank branches have their part to play as the end point in the Online to Offline (O2O) model, enhancing product and service awareness. For the foreseeable then, future branches will remain a key banking business channel.
But what exactly will next generation, intelligent bank branches look like?
Bank Branches Will Be Intelligent
Branches will offer improved, smarter customer service capabilities that are both personalized and convenient. Precision marketing and cross-selling will be enabled by biometric recognition and big data analytics, which can provide a comprehensive customer view.
Bank Branches Will Be Efficient
With separated front and back offices, branches will intelligently deploy resources across high and low counters, to streamline customer flow. Access to remote experts and a centralized service processing center will improve individual branch service capabilities and allow staff to focus on their front office role, boosting efficiency and customer satisfaction.
(Most) Bank Branches Will Be Lightweight
Future branches will either be large flagships (major branches), or they will be resolutely small. Such lightweight branches will become prevalent, built on a sustainable business model that is decidedly community-centric, with segmented operations.
The Huawei Intelligent Bank Branch combines advanced Ethernet access, 5G, Wi-Fi 6 access, video surveillance, security, and Remote Offices/Branch Offices (ROBO) solutions to help customers build next generation intelligent branches, offering a range of real benefits.