Even as mobile banking applications continue to replace daily transactions and inquiries, 88% of American adults feel they still need a physical branch location to go to for banking needs, according to research by CARAVAN® Omnibus Surveys from ORC International.
Surprisingly, when asked the importance of a physical bank branch five years from now, the sentiment remains consistent – with 84% saying a physical branch will still be important. While banking channels will continue to change or improve over time, the study also showed that Americans foresee having similar banking needs five years from now as they do today (whether in a physical branch or online/mobile):
- 84% want access to a live person to discuss banking needs, 84% also expect to need the same five years from now
- 86% currently use online access for bill paying and functions such as transferring funds and 88% foresee doing the same in the future
- 68% use paper checks to make payments, and 62% foresee doing the same in five years
Change comes slowly, but there will also be an increase in mobile and app usage, with 6 in 10 stating a need today and nearly 7 in 10 projecting a need in the future. This is not surprising, as over 75% of Americans ages 18-44 say having mobile functionality is already important to today’s current banking environment.
“As consumers continue to embrace digital technologies for simplifying daily tasks, consumers want the ability to interact on-the-go and on their own schedule via mobile and online offerings, as well as the option to be able to have face-to-face engagements for more complex issues such as investments and mortgages. The future of banking lies in the right mix – branches and technology – enabling a true omnichannel experience,” states Marina Stein, Senior Research Analyst for ORC International.
So how is the banking industry responding? From the branch examples found by The Financial Brand, the industry is trying to improve the customer experience by simplifying design, removing friction, integrating new technologies and trying to introduce more consumers to alternative digital delivery channels. In the majority of examples, this is being done in a much smaller footprint than in the past.
For a much deeper dive into the redesign of the physical branch, the Digital Banking Report entitled, ‘Bricks + Clicks: Building the Digital Branch,’ provides an in-depth look at how banks and credit unions are changing branching strategies to reflect consumer needs and today’s digital capabilities.
CIBC’s Runway Model Branch
CIBC worked with design consultancy allen international to develop a state-of-the-art branch design that would be a template for future full-service and small teller-free convenience branches. The expansion of this design template includes teller-free convenience stores – including airport kiosks.
Digital displays not only offer product advertising but also show local community information. In an era of constantly changing technology, the new branches also offer the flexibility and agility to be able to accommodate the next big tech developments.
With the growth in digital banking transactions and the move to smaller branches, these new agile formats are confirmation that branch banking still has a major role to play in the development of deeper relationships between bank and customer and prove the saying “one size and shape does not fit all.”
OdeaBank Flagship Combines Form & Function
With its transparent exterior and curved lines, I-AM created a design for Odeabank that is both welcoming and attention grabbing. The inspiring design of the flagship branch has already become an iconic structure within Istanbul.
A feature of the branches is to use the latest technology throughout the banking process in order to provide the most efficient and rewarding customer experience. A range of digital tools – touch-tables, tablets, iPhones and interactive screens – are routinely available in waiting lounges and entrance halls to welcome customers and facilitate engagement with the bank’s products and services.