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EFMA: Branch Transformation Challenges & Opportunities 29th May 2020

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If you’ve missed out on the EFMA e-council webinar, check out the highlights of our presentation here!

We took part in Efma’s Physical Channels e-Council, where I-AM’s Group managing Director Jon Blakeney discussed the challenges and opportunities in bank branch transformation.

  • The core challenges around branch and bank transformation.
  • Applications for branch transformations and key takeouts.
  • Sharing the Covid-19 impacts and insights across banking & financial services.

Here’s are the takeouts:

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By taking advantage of the latest innovations in technology, service design and customer experience it is possible to transform the traditional branch model.

This repositioning will allow the bank to redefine the role of its branch network, creating a model that is more efficient, more relevant and intelligently integrated into customer’s lifestyles.

We’ve moved from branches first, to devices first. We no longer have to visit branches, technology offers choice and empowers us to have control over the experience. It is important to acknowledge that today, there is a ‘base level’ for banks. It needs to ensure that all basic transactional services can be handled through digital solutions across desktop, mobile devices, remotely as well as in branch. However, whilst technology offers countless opportunities, similar to the approach with Amazon Go stores, it’s about merging the experience to enhance the physical space with supporting digital innovations.

Innovation in banking shouldn’t just stop at developing the best financial tech solutions. It’s about a full brand experience and omni channel touchpoints.

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Evolve from being simply functional to more emotional

Peoples’ finances play a huge part in making their dreams come true and supporting them through key life moments. Think about how the physical branch experience may help support customers towards or through these situations.

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To transform your branch experience requires an assessment of 4 key components.

People: Understanding their function and orchestrate the choreography of the team and its structure based on your specific customer needs and wants.

Process: In order to successfully transform the branch network, your processes will need to adjust in order to facilitate services based on customer needs and future proof transactions as well as advice.

Technology: It is imperative that we consider the best innovations to use within the branch, and that the processes and staffing model can support customer engagement and facilitate services and access to your various offerings.

Customer Experience:  This encompasses all of the elements that the customer can see; what are we trying to make our customers think, feel and do through the design of the experience and layout of the branch. This is informed by the other 3 components

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We developed a customer centric, store format strategy for Virgin Money, including a family of concept specifically tailored to serve the needs of local communities, the first of which being trialled at the High Street Kensington, Birmingham and Manchester stores.

Key Takeouts for Virgin Money:

1. We began with our research stage by interviewing staff, customers and stakeholders. Followed with workshops, where we defined the new Virgin money customer experience and the role of its physical space.

2. Assessed the vision: People are at the heart of this. We must break down traditional banking barriers and build new communities.

3. Based on the vision, research insight and an understanding of the new Virgin Money experience, we created a branch format strategy. This family of formats caters to different location and audience needs and supports the creation of community hubs.