In January, FMSI released, a 2015 Bank and Credit Union Teller Line Study that shows a 45% decline in overall branch transaction volume since 1991 and 4.8% decline since 2009. And really it’s no wonder!
“COOL! Those damn transactions cost us money. Quick, kick the tellers out and close the branches!!!”
In January, FMSI released, a 2015 Bank and Credit Union Teller Line Study that shows a 45% decline in overall branch transaction volume since 1991 and 4.8% decline since 2009. And really it’s no wonder with:
- Online Banking
- Text Banking
- Mobile Deposits
And with Online Account Opening now people don’t even have to come in to show us their ID anymore.
Are we all becoming Ally Bank and Connexus Credit Union?
COOL! Those damn transactions cost us money. Quick, kick the tellers out and close the branches!!!
Hold on cowboys and cowgirls, not so fast.
Remember in the early 90’s when we had this same conversation? The internet was going to save the day, leading to a 5.7% decline in branches. By ’95 we learned that, when it comes to money, people actually still want people. Then we overcorrected and had a 22.9% growth in branches in about ten years.
What About The Millennials?
There it is, you know we can’t talk about trends without bringing THOSE guys up.
I don’t need to tell you that these folks represent the largest population bubble since grandpa came home from WWII and swept grandma off her feet. But I might need to remind you about how they were raised … you’ve heard the term “helicopter mom,” right? Which demographic was being coddled? What demographic was in the car seat with “Baby on Board” signs?
While they have been raised as a high-tech generation, really not knowing a world without internet or mobile phone, they are also used to looking to someone for advice. Do you want to solely rely on Google for that, or do you want to be the face-to-face expert?
We Need Balance
I had a chat with a client this week who said that they are, “trying to drive people out of the branch with technology,” and I can’t disagree more.
Yes, we must provide as much convenience for customers as possible. We do lose money on transaction-only business and should encourage the use of electronic convenience tools. Yes, the institution with the most effective electronic delivery will have a monster advantage in the market.
We recently conducted quantitative research of 760 completed surveys, for a client who we are rebranding. In the study, “Locations” and “Relationships” dwarfed ALL other criteria for selecting a Primary Financial Institution (PFI) … including “Online/ATM Access.”
We need to refocus our branches, not as transaction-drivers, but as relationship drivers. And no website or mobile app that I’ve ever seen can drive relationships better than your people.
A 45% decline in branch activity doesn’t mean that the branch is dead, it means that we need to step up our game!
- Every face-to-face interaction is precious
- How can you move the conversation from the teller line to a CSR/MSR desk?
- People will always self-select the ease of electronic delivery and you should make it available, but how can you encourage more in-person interactions?
- Branch events
- In-branch games
- Special, in-branch pricing
- Value-added in-person consulting
Maybe we should stop calling them “branches” and start calling them “Relationship Centers!”
You can get the FMSI white paper, “Branch of the Future Not All That Different Than Branch of Today,” here.
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