Remaking relevance of brick & mortar banking in the digital age

Digital transformation isn’t about going digital only. By refocusing the branch experience on scenarios where face-to-face interaction is a plus, and going digital with everything else, banks and credit unions can stop branches' descent to irrelevance and help differentiate themselves from branchless competitors.

Even while a growing number of banking leaders recognize data-driven customer experiences as crucial to their long-term success, many continue to view digital experiences as secondary to their traditional brick-and-mortar business.

Less than 30%, for example, say they’re making any significant investment in digital skills and education among branch staff, a 2018 Adobe survey found. That approach will simply continue setting their brick-and-mortar businesses on a descent toward irrelevance in the face of more agile digital-first disruptors.

Is there any place left for brick-and-mortar bank branches in the digital-first financial world? The answer is a resounding “yes” — but in-person banking is taking on a vastly different shape from anything we’ve seen before.

Digital Groundswell Will Not Reverse

Almost every financial service traditionally handled at a bank branch can now be handled digitally, and a growing number of customers prefer it that way. Instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar location to open a new account, make a deposit, or apply for a loan, most customers now manage their accounts via mobile apps, and initiate loan applications through their bank’s website, and the numbers are growing.


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