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If you completed a quick Google search on the total number of branches today versus 20 years ago, do you think there are more or fewer branches today than back then?  The right answer: less.  

In fact, just over the past five years, the number of branch locations in America declined by 7% 

However, even though you might feel like branches are disappearing, if you look beyond the numbers, you’ll find a different story. Rather than disappearing, banks and credit unions are merely reinventing themselves for the digital age. And while they are reducing their branch count, at the exact same time they are increasing the value of the branch for a client. 

How exactly are they doing this? 


If you find yourself wondering how you can transform your branches to stay relevant in this digital era, then this is the blog for you.

We’ve broken down 3 different tactics you can get started on as soon as today, including: 

Bringing your online platforms into your branch 

What better way to keep up with the digital shift of the industry than to just bring the digital features everyone loves into the branch? From your website to your mobile and online banking platforms, they all deserve to be featured in your physical retail locations.  

There are a ton of ways you can do this, but the easiest way is through digital signage displays, like: 

  • Interactive displays which allow you to build a high-touch experience for clients to explore the different products and services you feature on your website and app.
interactive meet the team
  • Tablets that bring your online mobile banking platform into your branches by allowing clients to sign-up for online banking, as well as access their accounts from these devices, just like they would their own device while on the go.
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  • Dynamic screens with QR codes and instructions for onboarding to online banking and accessing other features of your digital presence. 

Offering more ways to complete transactions 

One reason people love the ability to bank online is the convenience that comes with it. So how can you bring this convenience into your branch? With technology, like:

  • Self-service machines that can be placed in your branches and drive-throughs to give clients the ability to complete simple transactions on their own—quickly and easily. 
  • Expert Nearby Rooms where clients can communicate with a specialized banker anytime they visit the branch, no need to schedule an appointment to come back next week.
 
Expert Nearby
    • Speaking of remote expertise, you can offer this same experience leveraging the client’s own device. This means that a banker can now help your client open a new account, get started with a car loan, and do a whole lot more, all from the comfort of their couch.
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  • As we mentioned above, tablets can also be used in branches to provide access to accounts, so now clients can use these devices if they need to make transfers, access statements, etc. 

Leveling up client and staff interactions to provide more value 

With more and more people using online banking methods or self-service machines to complete their more basic transactions, branches have become advisory centers rather than Friday afternoon stops to deposit a paycheck on their way home. This means you need to shift your in-branch experience away from a transactional one and towards an advisory one that provides clients with high-value interactions. This is best done by:  

  • Eliminating siloed roles of tellers and bankers and creating a combined role known as Universal associates which allows staff to offer a frictionless, valuable experience to their clients. 
  •  Equipping your platform staff with tablets to complete transactions on the go and from anywhere in the branch by leveraging any available cash recycler or set of peripherals. 

    Check out the Nomadix Demo here:

    Nomadix A Universal Associate Technical Overview
  • Providing staff with ongoing training for updated branch designs, technology, or even just changing industry standards. (DBSI created a one-of-a-kind training program known as Delivery Defined specifically for FIs looking to shift from transactional to advisory. Check it out here!) 

Summing it all up 

Put simply, embracing digital transformation is essential for survival. And while the branch will without a doubt continue to have a place in banking for years down the road, if that branch is to be anywhere near the center of action, many will need to transform. The 3 ideas above are a great start—but you should not stop there—because there are a ton of other things you can do. Ranging from a simple tech upgrade to a strategic remodel to a brand-new branch build, DBSI is ready to help you create a go-forward strategy for transforming in the digital age.  

Want to speak with a transformation strategist and make a plan for keeping your branches relevant in the digital age? We’re ready to talk!