Although people understand queuing is inevitable in certain situations, they are not at all prepared to stand in front of counters and wait their turn for service; although they do tolerate virtual queues.
Several factors give virtual queuing the edge. It's more comfortable than standing in a line and it is also advantageous to the retailer. When customers are not physically queuing they can carry on shopping.
Consumer preferences are changing but proximity and advisory remain integral to the Branch. The advent of digital has not been lost on banks. Many banks have begun leveraging the latest innovations in technology to offer a personalized banking experience.
Bank of America has converted about 16 of its branches in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles into specialized branches where customers can get expert advice on mortgages and small businesses via video-conferencing. Similarly, Citibank's "Smart Banking" branches are customized spaces with innovative technology such as media walls, interactive kiosks and work benches that enable customers to self-navigate and gain information on a wide array of products and solutions, and also conduct transactions.
Digital technologies today should not be seen as purely substitutive. For the banking industry, significant benefits await when banks start seeing digital as complementary. We don’t envision a branchless future, but we dobelieve in a strong future for thebanking industry with “fewerbranches”. Rather than compete with online channels, we are convinced that bank branches will be transformed to become part of an integrated customer experience that spans multiple banking channels. While transactional banking migrates to online and self-service, bank branches will be an integral part of a new social interchange, a place to build valuable customer relationships.