The term “Branch Transformation” has become the new hot buzz word in the financial industry for incorporating technology into your financial delivery services. The perception that many Bankers have, is that Branch Transformation means that you have to become more reliant on technology based services in lieu of providing the personal touch interaction. This is not always the case. Branch Transformation does not always have to lean towards technology integration, it can mean incorporating other strategies within your organization.
Before making a large investment in technology to keep up with the Jones, you must first understand what Branch Transformation means to you and your organization. You cannot just insert the latest technology trends into your business and hope that they will work for your organization. First, you must understand how they can be a benefit to your organization and what changes are required to make them successful. Again, Branch Transformation does not always have to mean technology enhancements, it can be as simple as changing how your staff interacts with your customers.
Simply stated, any type of shift or change you do in your organization can fall under the category of Branch Transformation. Changing your organization from being transaction focused to customer experienced focused can be considered a Branch Transformation. Removing the traditional barriers of the teller line and introducing a concierge station or pod concept in your branches can be considered a transformation. Co-Branding is another opportunity to transform the branch which allows the financial institution to team up with another retail or professional service industry to help generate additional foot traffic to the branch. Providing additional services outside of the normal consumer and business lending, such as financial planning and advising can be considered a Branch Transformation.
Do not get me wrong, technology is important and is a huge part of the financial industry. The latest technologies such as teller cash recyclers, interactive teller machines, self-service coin counters, deposit automation, digital displays to name a few, have allowed the banking world to expand and become more efficient. The idea I want to leave you with is that technology is there to help with Branch Transformation and dictate it. You do not have to incorporate all of the latest trends at one time. The best course of action is to fully understand what Branch Transformation strategies are right for you and how they can be best integrated into your organization.