It took us long enough, but the digital revolution is finally blowing disruptive winds into the traditional bank branch structure, and any attempts to ignore them will make the situation much worse.

Anno 2015 – Enter the FINTECH revolution in all its glory

For those who are not familiar with the term, FINTECH stands for Financial Technology, and the financial cash-cows of today will wax nostalgic quicker than you can say Mark Zuckerberg.

I come originally from the travel business, which was one of the first to feel the impact of the internet, and I see an uncanny similarity in the approach being followed today within retail banking. This is not a coincidence. Both sectors has seen themselves performing two core functions:

  • Transaction-Based – The employees in both sectors were measured by the number of transactions they performed. What happens when the transactions are automated?
  • Task-Based – Through process optimization, the tasks executed within these two sectors became more and more specialized.

Here are some examples…

“You need to talk to my colleague to book a hotel. I am only responsible for air.”

“You would like to open a new account? I am responsible for existing accounts”

and here’s a classic excuse, which applies equally to both…

“I can’t help you. You made the transaction online, and I have no access to this information”

Both industries should take heed to the following suggestions:

  • Don’t just talk about putting the emphasis on the customer – A good starting point is analyzing the various customer touch-points and understanding theirexperience working with you. After conducting this exercise and making adjustments, create metrics that allow you to judge your effectiveness.
  • You mean our customers have other interests other than your business? Take a look at the profile of your customers and understand their needs. This will help you in figuring out what reasons you can give your patrons for wanting to visit you. Right now, they only come to visit when they have to. Some day, that reason will disappear….and your business ends up on the scrap-heap of history.
  • Make it as easy as possible for them to buy more from you – We should never forget that everyone is looking for added-value, and our decisions are based on trust. Make it convenient for customers to give you more business, and make sure you eliminate any possible run-arounds….before they take place.