A great deal of news over the last few years has been about the 'death of the branch' and how branches are not relevent. At Mobilearth we do not agree with this opinon and think branches can be more important than ever.
Customers view the branch as the brand for a bank or credit union. People see the branch in their local community and it reinforces the brand. Even with less people visiting branches the branch presence conveys stability and a message that the financial institution is always there for the customer. Many customers like the convenience of online and mobile banking for day to day transactions but when they need specialized advice ('knowledge transaction') nothing beats meeting a financial specialist from the branch.
The problem with the traditional branch is that it has not evolved to keep up with the times. Most branches are inconvenient for customers; difficult to get to and slow at getting things done. By not being flexible and adapting to customer needs/schedules the branch is difficult to interact with so customers are forced to find different ways or competitors to get what they want.
Branches need to evolve and adapt. How?
1. Staff need tools that simplify and speed up service times for customers by streamlining the application process for products and services. We are all customers and the quicker things are done the happier we are. Branches should have the same attitude to fast service.
2. Branches must be mobile. Everything else has gone mobile so why are branches not mobile? Sometimes a customer simply cannot schedule a visit to the branch during business hours. So take the branch to the customer. When a branch goes mobile then so does the brand and new opportunities will follow. But a mobile branch must be mobile. Staff with a laptop and a VPN to the bank core hooked up to a signature pad and using a camera for ID looks clunky and aged in today's app and mobile world. Far bettter to show up with a tablet and a stunning user experience that conveys an institution in touch with today's times
3. More 'Mini' branches in more locations makes it easier to meet your customers' needs anywhere. A couple of staff with tablets can be a branch and bring all of the benefits of brand and customer convenience at a fraction of the cost of a traditional branch. Compliment your existing branch network with 'Mini' branches in strategic locations such as community events, malls, stadiums, schools,coffee shops or anywhere your customers live, work or play.
Please contact us if you have branch problems or challenges you want to solved or opportunities you want to accomplish. Mobilearth will continue to evolve the branch. Stay tuned.