As customer expectations change, the pace of change in banking needs to accelerate. Pablo Sansuste, a partner with Bain's Financial Services practice, identifies three paths that leading banks are following to achieve lower costs and better overall customer experiences—simplifying digital channels and tools, reconfiguring branch networks and redeploying newly skilled branch employees.
Read the Bain Brief: Reimagining the Digital Bank Branch of the Future: Let’s Get Practical
Read the transcript below.
PABLO SANSUSTE: For decades, banks have worked to automate customer transactions with the goal of reducing costs. But more recently, this has gone beyond costs and has become a powerful tool for enhancing customer experiences. We see that in many large banks, there's an opportunity to increase 50% of branch economics through a smart digital migration.
But the pace of change is too slow. Banks cannot expect customers to adopt digital all by their own. So leading banks are using a proven playbook along three paths to be successful.
First, banks are developing easy-to-use digital channels and tools. But most important, they are showing the customers how to adopt them. Branch employees must go beyond their cubical to teach and encourage customers on these new digital developments.
Second, banks must reconfigure the branch network. Investments should be focused on that third of the network that currently earns healthy returns. By mixing digital education, self-service, transaction, and advice zones all together.
Third, banks must redeploy branch employees from a narrow, self-service role to a broader, digital-fluent relationship and coaching roles. These employees will require significant training. So bank branches are not dead, but many have become obsolete in the current state. By accelerating the branch transformation, the bank can really mitigate the threat from technological firms and achieve a stronger and more profitable growth.