The current pace of change in banking can be mind boggling for customers. Much of that change is due to the influence of the retail sector, and banks’ implementation of “retail style” banking to cater to the new generation of customers.
To be sure, banks need to attract the younger demographic segments, as they are the source of future revenues. The younger generation is accustomed to retail-like consumption experience, such as the one provided by malls and interactive smart stores. These customers, being highly digitally driven, will expect to use digital channels like Internet and mobile for regular banking activity. But when it comes to more complex or significant transactions, these customers will feel the need to visit their bank branch to seek advice and guidance.
That being said, bank branches cannot hope to cater to next generation customers in the age-old way. They should prepare strategies for making retail banking more customer-centric with the help of innovations based on smart banking technologies and best practices from around the world. This could well call for going the way of retail – with branches in supermarkets and malls, smart stores like those from Apple complete with touchscreens, self-serving kiosks, ‘muzak’, and live video help from banking specialists and advisors.
However, while looking to secure their future revenue streams, banks must not neglect the interests of their existing and traditional customers. This means that they must change branch banking in other ways too.
For instance, banks should effectively utilize smart banking technologies and practices to provide access to all the details of the customer relationship, such as credit scores, banking history, and other accounts held. This can be augmented by offering access to software that predicts customer preferences and future banking service requirements based on past behavior. All of these together would help the banks provide more personalized and suitable sales and service offerings in order to retain their existing customers.