In the last few decades, banking has seen a lot of changes, especially since entering the digital era. But rest assured, brick and mortar financial institutions are still relevant - it’s worth noting that they’re relevant in different ways. And although we’re interacting digitally today as you read this, I want you to know my specialization in bank architecture predates the World Wide Web.
And as a result, I bring a unique and informed perspective to what changes in this industry and what tends to stay the same.
Banking is Personal
No matter how far you go back or how far you look into the future of banking technology, you’ll find one thing remains the same: Banking is personal. Bank customers place their trust in the financial institutions they choose, and when they get what they need out of that partnership, it can last a lifetime and carry on through generations.
What does building a trusting relationship look like in reality?
Within banking, trust is built via experience. The experience you provide your customers during every interaction is what forms their level of trust in your institution.
As a result, building a trustful relationship hinges on the efficiency of your processes.
With that being said, let’s take a look at efficiency.
Efficiency is Key
While bank customers might not have the words to explain a good banking experience, be sure that traveling out of their way, waiting in long lines and feeling rushed by tellers wouldn’t make their list.
Banking visitors are looking for convenience, and banks provide that convenience by having efficient processes in place. Creating an efficient banking experience begins from the very first stages of identifying concepts and designing layouts. After all, the first steps into a bank’s lobby (or the first minute in line at the drive-up teller) carry a lot of weight in terms of determining their experience.
Providing a personal touch has long been understood as a cornerstone of building banking relationships, and it will remain that way into the future. What’s going to enable financial institutions to remain successful well into the future? Banking technology.
Financial Industry Technology is Essential
With the overall importance of delivering a convenient and efficient experience to banking customers of all ages, it’s no wonder that keeping up with changes in the banking industry has a lot to do with keeping up with the evolution of technology.
Now, of course, there’s the increase of use of mobile apps for individuals to handle their banking from afar, but that’s not the type of financial technology I’m talking about today.
In order for today’s bank branches to remain relevant and provide great experiences to their customers, they need to integrate new types of technology.
Successful Branches Use Technology
Let me begin by saying that it’s not about finding any type of technology to integrate into your branch. Once you start looking at banking technology trends, you’ll find that there are a lot of options out there. And every option isn’t going to be right for every branch.
It’s about finding out which technologies fit with the way your branch operates now and can operate in the future.
To get started learning about different technology trends, you might start with a deep dive on some company websites and blog articles. I also recommend taking a peek at the competition to see which types of technology are already being put to use in other local community banks.
Are their drive-up stalls equipped with video conferencing technology? Do their lobbies have kiosk areas providing customers with a more convenient experience? Any and all insights you can gather from competitors can help you determine what’s best for your branch.
Of course, if the do-it-yourself approach doesn’t fit your style or your workload, partnering with an expert in bank design and technology trends can be a great option.
Because technology plays a major role in customer experience, identifying the top technologies to integrate into your branch design (and actually implementing them) can be quite the game changer.