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The Future Branch

Lounge Style Ambience

Branches are being transformed to smaller lounge-style venues in line with consumer preference.

One of the biggest transformation in a generation will see glassed-in service counters scrapped and many teller services such as bill payments, cheque deposits, cash deposit and information retrieval performed by a new generation of "Smart" automatic teller machines.

The new format would emphasize interaction between staff and customers by freeing staff from many of the basic services of traditional branches.The branch operates with open service counters for transactions, meeting pods and offices and an open lounge area, with an emphasis on technology that includes tablets and large touch screens, little or no brochures and forms and smart ATMs.

With the proportion of digital transactions growing Branches would however, be smaller, and with fewer, more highly skilled staff serving business and individual customers. The branch overhaul would focus on enhancing the service and advice aspects.

Branches definitely have a big role to play in the changing ways that customers are looking to do business and remain an important part of service delivery channel, with figures showing customers visited at least once a month as their interactions increased by nearly 60 per cent over the past decade.

Contrary to predictions about the demise of branches because of the rise of mobile and internet customers are demanding more advice from branch staff about complex products and services.Branches that were previously closed are now being reopened.