Amy George
Jul 20, 2021

Brand visionary Jean-Pierre Lacroix considers the evolution of the branch and looks to its future.

Even as digital banking gains ground, many customers still prefer human, face-to-face interaction for complex products such as mortgages and investments.

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Banks have talked for years about bridging the yawning gap between physical and digital channels—first via multichannel, then omnichannel.

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Back when people visited banks as their sole way to deposit paychecks, make large cash withdrawals and move money between accounts, branches were built to portray security and stability.

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As customers continue to move towards digital channels, we see the ongoing, dramatic impact on monetary transactions, “paying and receiving” or teller transactions.

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I recently attended two banking conferences and was struck by how much has changed—yet how much has not and needs to.

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While consumers and small businesses consistently rate “local branch convenience” as a deciding factor in choosing their financial institutions, branch transactions are declining at an average rate of 7 percent per year—even higher in many urban areas.

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Retail banking faces steep declines in branch visits.

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As banks consolidate further, financial institutions have a chance to cherry pick good branch sites cast off by competitive mergers.

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In an age when so much stress is placed on customer experience, financial institutions need to keep an eye on the safeguards that guarantee success.

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For all the noise surrounding customer experience, dialing in to the best practices and effective strategies is another story.

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