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This year may not have looked like what we imagined but that doesn't mean we couldn't bring innovation and fun to this year's virtual conference. We had a blast chatting with everyone and showcasing our latest innovations.

What technologies are worth investing in now?

Expert panel includes:

  • Nathan Moore, Chief Technology Officer at CFM + DBSI
  • Cody Willis, Sr. Integrations Strategist at CFM
  • Mike Mares, Video Banking Expert at Pop.io
  • David Bolton, ITM Expert at NCR 

What technologies are worth investing in right now?

Answer: Financial institutions should be investing in technologies that remove touchpoints, increase the sense of safety, give more control to your clients, and enable the shift towards a digital enterprise. 

Technologies—such as remote assisted service through an ITM or enhanced self-service kiosks, video banking solutions, tablet-based associates, and digital signage displays—all allow consumers to easily transact with their financial institution in a safe manner, while still having a positive experience.  

To answer simply, every investment should align to and enable your unique vision. This is as true today as in the past. The only difference in the COVID era is that you are now being forced to shift your business and how you relate to your clients at a pace much faster than before.

Answered by: Nathan Moore

How can we eliminate or reduce touchpoints in the branch by using technology?

Answer: Simply put… self-service kiosks, tablet-based associates, and centralized/shared transaction points, like TCRs. 

Self-service kiosks not only create an efficient way for teller transactions to be handled by the consumers themselves, but reduces the touchpoints typically related to the teller line. Other parts of retail have seen a surge in kiosk use, and now COVID has just forced this shift we’ve been waiting for in our industry. Self-service kiosks can also reduce costs for processing the high -volume, low -value transactions related to cash and checks, while simultaneously freeing up associate’s time and creating advisors to assist and uncover client needs.  Yes, you can do both at the same time!

Tablet-based associates also come into play in a large way when it comes to reduce touchpoints. These tools not only remove the need for a teller line type of transaction area but creates a truly universal and mobile associate capable of assisting a client from start to finish. The fewer people a client must interact with, the better—especially during COVID times! These tablet-based associates really allow you to do more in your branches at a lower cost, conducive to spacing and reducing touchpoints all with repurposed FTE (full-time employees).  

Now put it all together… and voila! With properly integrated and deployed kiosks, supported by a tablet-based associate, you have the best of all worlds.  Your clients can self-serve, they can have assistance when needed, or they can choose to still go for a full-service route.  

Answered by: Nathan Moore

What technologies can be used to cut costs?

This is a very common question we have come across, especially with COVID in the mix. Cutting cost is a game of investment and taking practical steps to reduce the need of “X” (usually labor/process) with technology. 
The simplest and easiest way to meet cost cutting requirements, is to investment heavily in teller cash recyclers. These devices are proven, simple to bring live, and have hard, tangible savings that can be seen within the first 12 months. Each device can reduce labor cost in a branch by about 20K a year, through removing of redundant cash handling and vault use. To put this in perspective a 20-branch institution that installs about 2 device per location, could see a labor savings of $800,000 in just the first year. 
Beyond cash recyclers, some other technologies I recommend for cutting cost include:

  • Enable TCRs with RTA, a patented technology the allows any associate to access any TCR, which can help increase efficiency and decrease operating costs.
  • Self-service kiosks like NEXT and ITMs are great solutions for offboarding expensive associate-driven teller attractions.
  • Using tablet interfaces like NOMADIX can transform your tellers and bankers into one super role known as the Universal Associate. This decreases FTE, decreases client hand off, improves the associate’s ability to sell, among many other things.

    Answered by: Cody Willis 

How can we increase our mobile adoption rate and enable our clients to bank online?

Answer 1: Digital banking has seen huge adoption numbers as of the last few months, but you still have customers who are reluctant. I have a few different ways to help increase onboarding to these channels with what I’m sure you coin as ‘Challenging Costumers’. 

One way is the use of interactive screens within the branch that will act as education boards. On these digital displays your clients can either self-educate, or staff can share tutorials/videos of mobile and web apps and even give them a quick in-person onboarding (sounds like a great opportunity to advise!). As an example, some of my clients specifically have opted to use these screens during new account openings to share the 2-3 free account services like remote deposit, bill pay, and transfer services. Investing an extra 5 minutes now to help your clients onboard to mobile can help save the branch 1000’s of minutes every month in Friday teller transactions. 

Another method we have seen results with is the use of a discovery bar within the waiting area of branches. The discovery bar hosts multiple tablets, where customers can learn about services and discover alternate channels in which to do business with you. Just be sure the discovery bar tablets are adjusted to provide at least 6’ between clients, as well as keeping sanitization supplies nearby!

Answered by: Cody Willis

Answer 2: Signage in the branch is part of the solution, but the best way to increase that mobile adoption rate is to use a multi-pronged marketing campaign (using social media, website messaging, email campaigns, and of course screens in branches). And your content needs to be focused on education and convenience. You want to show how to onboard and let them know that you can walk them through the process, but you also want to make sure they know the benefits of mobile banking and why it matters to them. Remember, it starts and ends with convenience for the clients.

Answered by: Jared Sletten

How can I leverage technology to shift from transactional to advisory services?

Answer 1: I can’t say this enough, but we need to get tellers out from behind teller lines and all transactional areas and shift them into Universal Associates. In order to increase your product penetration and sales, as well as provide a more retail-friendly experience for your staff, the teller- transaction functions of the teller role must be handled by technologies. Open up your advisors to stay focused on high-value conversations instead of spending most of their time on these transactions."

The tech involved in doing this would be self-service kiosks, centralized automation, tablet-based solutions for kiosks support, transactions and client servicing. Note that all of this requires the correct level of integration to your core in order be successful. 

Also note that technology alone won’t make the shift to advisory for you. You need to have a strong training plan for your associates that arms them with the knowledge they need to leverage the technology and not rely on it. 

Answered by: Nathan Moore

Q14: How can we connect clients with associates from when they are not in the branch?

Answer 1: Video banking solutions are great options for providing clients with 1:1 access to associates, whether that be asking some questions regarding their account or the need to set up an auto loan. Technologies like Pop.io allow for clients to use their own mobile device or like technology to have a 1:1 live, video conversation with an associate specialized to their specific needs. 

Since the pandemic hit, we have seen more and more people begin to adopt mobile banking options, and this is a very natural extension that delivers further convenience for them and cost cutting for you.

Answered by: Mike Mares

Answer 2: With in-branch visits decreasing, drive -thru traffic is increasing—and often the self-service solutions in the drive thru are the most used. With a traditional ATM, you miss the opportunity to connect with these clients on a personal level.

An ITM is of the best strategies for establishments looking to connect with their clients who are choosing to bank from a distance—even if that distance is just from the drive thru. Unlike traditional ATMs, with ITMs your associates and clients can connect via vide chat and an advisory relationship can be established. ITMs also allow you to connect with clients outside of traditional banking hours, which can be a huge differentiator between your institution and the one next door.

Answered by: David Bolton