10 branch banking innovation strategies for 2016 and beyond!

Published December 23, 2015   |   

Non-banking industries like hospitality and travel are deploying futuristic technologies and processes to enhance their service experiences every day — conditioning consumers with higher face-to-face service expectations. When these other industries ‘raise the service bar’, it puts a spotlight on the service shortcomings of increasingly aging branch banking practices.
Innovative approaches to improve branch sales and productivity effectiveness have been implemented across a varied landscape of non-financial organizations as well. Unfortunately, most financial institutions stay in the herd when it comes to technology adoption and process improvement. With a whole world full of great ideas and best practices spread throughout other industries, it’s a series of missed opportunities that banking can’t ignore.
Ten strategies from non-banking industries that financial institutions can consider implementing to improve sales, service and productivity at the branch level include:

  1. Beacon Technology
  2. Facial Recognition Software
  3. Heat Map Technology
  4. 3D Augmented Reality
  5. Business Process Management
  6. Recommended Product Engines
  7. Highly Trained Staff Deployment
  8. Tabletop Tablet Solutions
  9. Preferred Customer Programs
  10. Appointment Setting Technology

1. Beacon Technology
Target recently rolled-out a new merchandising alert system utilizing beacon technology. Essentially, this sophisticated application relies on smart phones to get targeted messaging to consumers, including product suggestions based on individual purchasing behavior, and/or special coupons aimed at specific demographics when the consumer is in the store.
Notably, the power of the technology is most effective when considering the location of the individual consumer in the store related to targeted products, serving as a personalized notification for the nearby consumer. For example, a young mother walking by a new brand of diapers might get a coupon notification on her phone.
Financial Services Application
Bringing a more personalized service experience to the branch can better educate account holders prior to any face-to-face interactions by sending highly personalized and targeted product and service content through smart phone notifications when they approach the lobby.
Picture a young couple waiting in the lobby to talk with a service representative about a home loan. As they sit down, both of their phones alert them of a new notification containing videos of the benefits of getting a loan through the financial institution they are visiting. The video may contain cross-selling messaging about investment products or car loans as well.
Another application for beacon technology is around alerting account holders who are geographically close to a branch. While this may only be applicable in more urban settings, the power of alerting a nearby account holder of a special limited car loan rate can certainly act as a powerful call to action.