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Tuesday
Mar102015

Is Self-Service The Future Of Banking?

Banking services used to be simple and straightforward. You got a paycheck, filled out a deposit slip, walked or drove up to the counter and presto, your needs were met. Perks? Anyone for day-old coffee and a lollipop?

Today, banks, credit unions, pay-day loans and other financial firms look more like modern retailers. The amount of financial services has mushroomed, and with more customers choosing to bank on their mobile devices, the need for promotions to build awareness has never been greater.

Also like modern retailers, progressive financial institutions have shifted into high gear meeting customers’ needs for a better, more connected experience by creating an atmosphere that is conducive to selling financial products.

However, today’s connected finance customer can get services almost anywhere but the bank—on the Internet, via mobile apps, or at the ubiquitous ATM. Human interaction is no longer required for a bank transaction. Considering this, we ask, is self-service the future of banking?

According to the TD Branch Financial Education Survey, some of those “old fashioned” face-to-face banking practices are not only valid today, but also have demand from younger generations. For example, consider these recent findings:

  • 54% of Millennials prefer to visit their bank for detailed information.
  • Millennials still visit bank branches as frequently as they did in 2013 for simple transactions.
  • 90% of consumers prefer face-to-face advice for complex financial products.

To be sure, routine transactional banking activities are going digital by the majority of customers with over 50% using online services, but for more complex transactions that require thorough consideration, modern banks are meeting the needs of consumers by shifting to the concept of full-service flagship locations.  These consumer-friendly centers provide a plethora of financial services and tools, and are staffed with knowledgeable associates for on-the-spot assistance alongside self-serve kiosks for the do-it-yourself customer.

“Many people do their banking not only at a branch but online as well,” noted Robert Moctezuma in the Digital Signage For Financial Institutions white paper published by DigitalSignageToday.com.  “Digital signage can help tie together the financial institution’s online and offline presence.”

“When people walk into a branch just wanting to do a few things, there may be a line at the cashier. They can go to a sign, they can touch it, they can interact, and they can get what they need done,” Moctezuma said. “That helps the institution extend the online presence to the offline world.”

Since banks can no longer take walk-in or even drive-through customers for granted, managers want to do their utmost to maximize the opportunity. This is where modern banking differentiates itself from our parents’ bank. Modern banking crosses the digital divide to connect to customers in new ways, ways that provide information and ways that provide services.

Here are four examples that demonstrate how digital signage can improve the customer experience and better meet growing expectations.

Cross-Selling Financial Services – The common task of cross-selling financial services typically falls on tellers’ shoulders, which is not the best game plan for positions that have high turnover. Fortunately, digital signage provides a platform that can prime customers’ interests and create awareness before having that conversation.

Customer Experience – Modern banking can facilitate better customer experience by reinforcing the brand—and the atmosphere—that makes the client better informed and more inclined to accept additional services. This can happen through customer engagement with both bank employees and interactive media, bolstering services that directly address and fulfills customers’ needs on the spot.Drive-Through Banking – For approximately 60% of the customers that drive to the bank, the majority use the drive-through to meet their banking needs, which is possibly the most overlooked opportunity to promote and cross-sell customers. Today’s digital signage can be easily placed outdoors, providing a reliable, dynamic way to keep drive-through customers informed.

Staff Training – Bank employees can benefit as much as patrons with targeted digital sign messages. Keeping staff up to date with the latest promotions, rates, and industry regulations becomes much easier on a display platform that resides in break rooms and cafeterias. Busy personnel can be reminded of the most important product promotions, rates, and other service offerings that managers want to emphasize. This greatly reduces the time required training staff, and the reinforcement greatly improves retention.

So, to resolve the question we started with, the answer is a resounding YES! Self-service is the future of banking, but that future will also include many digital bridges that go right back to face-to-face services that even your Grand Pa and Grand Ma would fondly remember, barring the stale coffee of course.

David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with over 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.

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