Six questions every FI should ask about branch transformation solutions

May 03, 2014 12:46 AM

Editor's Note: Today's post comes at the courtesy of Terrina Rishel, CEO of ATM Authority


Over the last few decades, we have witnessed technology disrupt many industries—requiring rapid change or risk becoming obsolete. When new technology, coupled with an effective go-to-market strategy, create a great consumer experience, competing businesses within that vertical are forced to re-think how they deliver products and services.

We have experienced this with retail stores, gas stations, airports, car rental companies and the like.


The banking industry has been struggling for years to figure out how to create more efficiencies within their current branch networks. Their number one cost in many cases is labor, with their expensive brick-and-mortar investments a close second. Over the last decade, some innovative financial institutions have quietly set-out to reinvent the way they approach retail delivery, and have outlined an effective framework by which to do just that.


Six questions every FI should ask about branch transformation solutions:


How can we;


1. Leverage our workforce and decrease labor inefficiencies?

2. Build smarter, smaller, less costly branches?

3. Eliminate cumbersome cash processes?

4. Offer extended service hours without the expense of leaving the branch open?

5. Convert cost savings into competitive product offerings, and grow market share?

6. Create engaged consumers by allowing them to decide when, where and how they want to do their banking?

While this might seem like a tall order, it’s exactly what many cutting-edge FI’s have been able to achieve by implementing comprehensive branch transformation initiatives. These six questions are some of the filters by which technology should be analyzed, when deciding to invest in and implement.


Branch transformation cannot be fully realized by simply automating deposits, or adding more newly designed ATMs and teller cash recyclers. Additionally, new, modern branch designs are certainly refreshing, but without delivering cost savings and eliminating inefficiencies, the “Apple Store” design concept, falls short of answering the 6 questions which serve as the foundation of transformative retail banking.


Today’s financial transaction climate is complex and requires an Omni-channel analysis, rooted in offering consumers what they want—when they want it. We still live in a world that often requires a physical document or check to be viewed by a human being. Remote Deposit Capture through mobile applications is useful, but in many cases has “amount” limits and other challenges. Additionally, some transactions are too complicated to be performed at an ATM. Moreover, many consumers simply refuse to use an ATM card or PIN. For these reasons, branch transformation cannot be fully achieved without a “teller” alternative.


NCR APTRA™ Interactive Teller is the only “teller-alternative”, video teller-controlled device that answers all 6 questions, and several more as well.


This proven solution allows:


1. A financial institution to centralize its workforce and leverage peak banking hours in a way that traditional branches could never achieve.

2. The ability to build branches that are smaller, more efficient and sales and service focused.

3. Traditional Teller Services while eliminating laborious cash counting and balancing routines, and offers drive-up services without the investment of pneumatic tubes and other banking equipment.

4. Branches to stay open up to 24 hours a day without the cost and security issues of operating a large branch network.

5. The elimination of antiquated processes and expenses, permitting conversion of those savings into competitive products and increased revenue.

6. Consumers to bank up to 7 days a week/24 hours a day and complete complex transactions without using an ATM card or PIN, and perform up to 95% of the transactions that a traditional teller can.

New branches that are built within a 1,000 square feet, do not need a vault, a traditional teller line, bullet-proof glass, and other expensive investments, while offering 24-hour full service with video tellers and loan specialists, are not the branch of the future—they are the branches of today. Disruptive change has finally arrived in the banking sector!


FI’s that want to avoid losing market share to more efficient competitors, and ultimately risk becoming obsolete—need to embrace true branch transformation as a current reality, not a potential futuristic threat.