It would be a bold prediction to say that banks will open more physical branches in 2020, but some people think that branches will not continue to close at such a rapid pace. While there are literally countries such as the Netherlands that have virtually done away with the traditional bank branch, others are saying the traditional branch just needs to function differently and that there is a case for the face to face experience.
The argument in favor of the physical branch is that with all of the digital craze, people still want to see someone face to face when it comes to their money. An executive from Adobe recently submitted his prediction to Banking Exchange. If you would like to respond, please contact our editorial team. The future of the bank branch is a hotly contested topic, but might be crucial for small and midsize bank survival. Here is the submission:
“Digital, and mobile devices specifically, have had a massive impact on how consumers manage their finances, yet most consumers are not very impressed with their online banking options. A recent study from Adobe found that 75% of consumers said they still believe physical bank branches matter and 70% have visited a physical branch at least once in the past month. In 2020, banks will need to make every touch point, from talking to a bank teller in-person to making a transfer between accounts on your phone, as frictionless and helpful as possible for consumers.
"This year we will see more people continuing to crave that personal experience that comes with visiting a bank in person, and the death of bank branches will be greatly exaggerated. Instead, banks will need to complement the brick-and-mortar experience with innovative digital experiences in order to continue to engage and retain customers,” said Craig Peasley, director at Adobe.
Branch location increases would be a welcome change even if the branches are smaller and with a new approach to service.