Digital banking, mobile banking, online banking – call it what you will but the shift is finally happening. Banks are investing less in traditional infrastructure and more in the virtual bank
A Forbes Article quote:
Over the last year BofA has shut down 163 branches across the country. That’s the greatest number of closings for any U.S. bank. It’s opened just six in the same period for a net of 157 branches closed, according to data from SNL Financial.” In fact they are cutting an additional 16,000 people as part of this operational efficiency.
The fact is if it is going to exist at all branch banking will continue to change. Intuit engagement studies show that Americans walk into branches at most 2 times a month if at all yet use mobile and online as much as 30 times a month. I spend a lot of time with bankers and credit union execs who all know in their heart this is coming but still struggle to shift their investment patterns. Even in technology investment they still find it uncomfortable that they spend more on Internet banking than core processing when most of what core processing does today just isn’t that big a deal. Check volumes turned the corner over ten years ago and have been decreasing ever since. Why invest in proof of deposit, item processing or big iron to simply do accounting – that should all be in the cloud, payment networks or mobile transactions.
So think about it – shouldn’t the branch really be a place with “genius” bars – the platform bankers with investment and lending advice at most but tellers – really? Do you really need big iron counting checks and processing deposits? Help customers along to digital banking.