Our own Daniel Rubenstein was interviewed for the latest issue of Finance on Windows: http://digital.onwindows.com/finance/2013/fow-winter/#26
There has been much debate about the future of bank branches and whether they will cease to remain important. According to research and industry experts, bricks-and mortar branches are not going away, but rather evolving and will be used differently in the future. Experts agree that branches offer the best opportunities to strengthen and expand customer relationships. At Scala we believe that technology, innovation and channel integration will play a key role in re-engineering and re-energising the branch.
Banks are moving to an omni-channel strategy. The in-branch experience needs to be consistent across all channels including online and mobile, offering customers information in any channel that they want to interact. Banks are now moving to smaller branch locations and they’re starting to evolve the role of their tellers so that they provide more personalised advice on products and services. The role of the branch is shifting to become a sales and advisory centre rather than a transaction centre. People often assume that branches appeal more to senior customers, while the younger generation is choosing other channels over branches completely. But we’re actually seeing the younger generation visiting the branch. The main difference, however, is that they are not entering branches for a simple transaction; they’re instead looking for problem solving, rich advice and personalised attention. In a recent survey, adults under 30 were more likely to indicate that they don’t avoid bank branches, and they aren’t as interested in opening accounts online compared to older consumers.
Bankers are strategising and expanding their digital channels to attract a new generation of young and profitable customers. Digital banking interactions are taking place in the branches, where advisers armed with tablets can quickly open accounts and customers can interact with a specialist via telepresence. Through digital signage, banks have the ability through interactivity and mobility to provide advisory and personal finance content that will complement their merchandising campaigns and provide their customers the confidence to make a transaction. Many digital signage companies view the use of mobile devices as a threat, but Scala believes that it complements digital signage.
Integrating mobile technologies with digital signage will provide a more interactive, engaging and personalised experience in the branch. QR codes, for example, can allow customers to scan for information relating to a product or service in the branch and then consume the information while on the go. Another way our digital signage technology can link to a customer’s smartphone is through turning that device into a remote control, where customers can use their device to change the content on the digital sign and access information of personal interest.
Banks are thinking hard about their branch strategies and Scala is ahead of the curve in what we deliver to our customers. The evolution of the branch and the use of innovative digital signage and mobile solutions is still in the early stages, but banks understand what their challenges are and what their customers want. We at Scala are allowing them to deliver on this.