Channels

10:05 AM
Jim Weaks, Cummins Allison
Jim Weaks, Cummins Allison
Commentary
50%
50%

A Crucial Strategy for Bank Branches in 2014

Banks can improve the in-branch and omni-channel experience using new technologies.

One of the defining characteristics of the banking industry this year is the fact that the growth of digital technology has had a profound impact on the branch experience. As more organizations offer tools that make it easier for individuals to remotely access basic services, many banks may wonder whether a physical presence in local communities even matters anymore.

However, as recent studies confirm, the branch is not dead yet. In fact, a majority of bank customers expect to visit their branch just as often – or even more frequently – in five years’ time. The key is finding an effective way to adapt to these new industry trends, and investments in customer-facing technology such as self-service coin counters can be crucial as retail bank branches plan for success in 2014.

Contrary to what many may believe; the answer to recent developments in digital technology doesn’t mean gradual closure of the in-person branch. Banks have a better chance at increasing revenue by creating a dynamic, integrated experience across all channels; which will lead to greater success in the long run.

Jim Weaks, Cummins Allison
Jim Weaks, Cummins Allison

For this reason, Celent Research predicts that North American banks’ IT spending will grow to $59.5 billion in 2014, and much of that growth will be in retail banking, with focus on enhancements to the user experience and omni-channel sales and service endeavors.

As banks focus on achieving a true omni-channel experience, it’s critical that they offer solutions which drive more foot traffic into their local branches. Offering access to self-service coin counting machines is an effective way to target non-customers and promote valuable interactions with current customers, as turning loose change into cash is one process that simply cannot be completed as an online service.

[For More of Our News and Analysis on Branch Banking: Another Take on the Branch of the Future]

Research has shown that 80 percent of U.S. households hold on to coins they receive from cash transactions. Sixty-four percent of these coin savers seek out financial institutions as a first line of defense when redeeming this money in the form of cash. Branch managers can use self-service coin counters as a central element of their long-term growth strategies; once inside the bank, customers are more likely to become interested in additional services.

Simplicity is an important concept in the financial services industry. Money is often a complicated issue, and the more banks are able to make certain tasks easier, the more likely it is they will be able to retain customers for longer periods of time. Many customers appreciate the ability to perform simple tasks such as converting collected change into cash without the help of a teller.

And, self-service coin machines are an offering customers truly want. In a recent study, 80% of respondents reported they would switch from a teller to a self-service coin machine and believe their satisfaction would measurably increase as a result, with many indicating they would use the machine “all the time”.

To succeed in 2014, banks must be careful not to ignore the impact the branch can have on customer satisfaction levels. Investment into technology such as self-service coin counters can serve as the backbone of these branch-based initiatives.

Jim Weaks is vice president and business unit manager of the self-service coin business unit at Cummins Allison is a currency, check and coin counting solutions provider.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jonathan_Camhi
50%
50%
Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 9:14:17 PM
re: A Crucial Strategy for Bank Branches in 2014
I have a friend who's my age (whom I won't name) but still has a piggy bank that they take the bank when it gets full. Reminds me of simpler times.
Jonathan_Camhi
50%
50%
Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 9:06:06 PM
re: A Crucial Strategy for Bank Branches in 2014
Branches are going to keep declining, but they'll never go away unless we reach a cashless society, which I doubt is going to happen any time soon.
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 9:00:11 PM
re: A Crucial Strategy for Bank Branches in 2014
I'm also a big coin collector and frequently visit branches to switch them for cash. It is a great way to get more people into branches. I do wish my bank had counters, though, as I can never get my questions answered and count coins in the same location.
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 5:55:37 PM
re: A Crucial Strategy for Bank Branches in 2014
Thanks, Jim. Despite the back and forth discourse about the future of branches, they aren't dropping off the planet anytime soon (woohoo!) I agree the best bankers can do is find ways to keep up foot traffic.

I am one of the 80% of people compiling all my coins transaction with the intention of dumping them into a coin counter machine - specifically at whichever bank branch is closest (coins are heavy!) and don't charge a (heavy) service fee. Having a machine do the counting is probably faster than a teller, and I won't feel guilty about asking someone to spend their time counting my change, as it seems rather beneath the banker's skill level.
KBurger
50%
50%
KBurger,
User Rank: Strategist
4/17/2014 | 8:49:54 PM
re: A Crucial Strategy for Bank Branches in 2014
Thanks for your insights, Jim. Branches will continue to exist, although undoubtedly there will be fewer of them. And the branches that remain will continue to evolve. From what I am hearing from bankers, they will become increasingly less transaction focused and more about consultation and selling. That said, incorporating more self service capabilities into the branch makes sense.
Register for Bank Systems & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Bank Systems & Technology - August 2014
Modern core systems are emerging as the foundations of effective channel integration and customer engagement initiatives.
Slideshows
Video
Bank Systems & Technology Radio