How tomorrow’s bank will look like has been a subject of debate amongst futurists for quite some time now.
The pace at which digitization and innovation in banking and financial services is taking place, one thing seems certain : total transformation is coming.
Sooner than later.
As customer demands change and dictate, the bank of the future will be a picture of a smarter Fintech-enabled, e-commerce system which could well be light years ahead from the profile of the traditional ‘corner store bank branch’, say some technology-driven industry experts.
Day-to-day customer services from a bank could well move from a palm-sized gadget that could even work at the ‘speed of thought’, goes the hype.
Fact is that Fintech is already delivering much of the advanced features banks offer to upgrade customer services across the globe. How fast a bank will absorb the oncoming digital revolution will depend on the pace at which managements will take decisions to change and the quality often attributed to a bank’s adaptability DNA.
Many factors will come to the fore, in the process of change – socio-economic parameters, geographical and cultural attributes, customer demands and interaction infrastructure requirements, to name a few.
The bank that smoothly translates these factors into an integrated model across multiple channels will ensure a satisfying and coherent user experience across all customer groups.
In the past one decade, major breakthroughs in banking technology have occurred to prove the point that as the years come, the traditional ‘mortar-and-bricks’ concept of banks will disappear and will be replaced by digital banking with global reach, and offering amazing benefits in customer service. Online banking and mobile apps will be the order of the day. Visiting bank branches and meeting across-the-counter tellers would soon become history for the common man.
Interestingly, BT Global Services, in a survey, produced the following report :
- 81% of the sample surveyed believe that free wi-fi access would benefit their banking experience; and 75% expressed positive interest toward online appointment booking
- No-delay services in customer relationship management was another area checked out by the research. 84% positively responded to banks that offer immediate issue of new debit and credit cards.67% prefer to remotely deposit cheques to in-branch or mail services.
- 51% would like more staff who can advise on products and 69% would be more confident if that advice was also accessible through human interaction on the website.
Whilst the survey revealed the above results, it also showed that ‘bank branch’ based banking system will take some more time to undergo any change. The challenge before the bankers will be how they will strategize change and become tech-savvy to enhance accessibility, interaction and space.
It is most likely that branches will not be disappearing as there is enough feedback that proves that a customer prefers face-to-face human interaction to a mere machine interface.
The bottom line would quite certainly be a redefined customer experience managed by a perfect combination evolved technology and the human face of friendliness and service.