Financial institutions are undergoing significant changes in 2023 as they continue to adapt to new technological advancements and changing customer expectations. In response to increased competition and the need for improved efficiency, many banks and credit unions are investing in customer demand driving strategies, smart branches, and an anticipated branch ‘renaissance’. Their response includes the deployment of teller—facing and customer—facing automation like TCRs, ATMs, and ITMs to automate cash handling tasks and provide customers with more convenient options for accessing their accounts.

Customer demand driving strategy

In the highly competitive financial vertical, customer demand is a crucial factor that drives strategy. According to American Banker, “Financial institutions say meeting customers’ changing demands is a concern; more than half of respondents say it’s a key challenge.” Due to this demand, financial institutions need to understand the needs and expectations of their customers and tailor their services to meet them. With the rise of digital technology, customers expect convenient and efficient services that are accessible from anywhere at any time. Financial institutions must also provide personalized experiences that cater to the unique needs and preferences of each customer.

Smart branches

Smart branches are a new concept in financial institutions that are designed to leverage the latest technologies to provide customers with a more personalized and efficient banking experience. The term is breaking down what a branch was used for traditionally and opening it up to use cases and consumers that would have otherwise not entered through its door. By offering a more relaxed atmosphere than traditional banks, smart branches allow consumers and bankers to discuss their options over a cup of coffee. According to Tearsheet, Capital One launched it’s first Capital One Café, allowing visitors to “take advantage of community workspaces, free Wi—Fi, ATMs, and, a wide variety of beverages and snacks. If they need help with banking questions, there are Café and Branch Ambassadors who can assist,” said a Capital One spokesperson.

All of these moves signal a major shift in the banking ethos–rather than waiting for consumers to step through the door, banks are picking up their pace and meeting consumers where they are. Such initiatives also help open the financial services industry to communities that have been underserved by the system so far, and help balance scales that have been tipped too heavily towards prime consumers for far too long.

Expectation of branch ‘renaissance’

In recent years, there has been a growing sentiment that the traditional bank branch is becoming obsolete in the face of digital banking. However, some experts believe that there is potential for a branch renaissance in the financial industry. Customers still place a high value on in—person interactions with their financial institution, particularly when it comes to complex transactions or financial advice. Additionally, many customers prefer the convenience of having a physical location nearby to handle their banking needs.

Overall, the expectations for a branch renaissance in the financial industry are based on the idea that there will always be a demand for in—person banking services. By embracing new technologies and redesigning the branch experience to be more welcoming and consultative, financial institutions can create a more personalized and engaging experience for their customers.

How Convergint can help

Convergint is a trusted leader providing the highest level of protection for financial institutions. To learn more about Convergint’s financial capabilities and how the financial team is keeping pace with current trends and partnering with customers for optimal response, contact a specialists today.