[Update: We misreported a statistic regarding Chase’s branch traffic. We originally reported that only 55% of customers had been to a branch in a given quarter. This statistic actually represents traffic for commercial customers. We’re looking into sourcing a figure that represents household customer traffic and have updated this post to better represent the cited figure. We apologize for the miscommunication. -Ed.]
Chase Bank recently released an earnings report which outlines the success they’ve had with digital banking and their vision for the future of branches.
Increases in digital banking and decreases in branch transactions have made them orient themselves towards sales-focused branches while relegating day-to-day transactions to online, automated services.
How Chase Bank is Redefining the Branch
- Optimization of branches for sales:
- more offices
- more advisors
- fewer tellers
- Rationalizing cost structure through:
- Digital self-service
- Smaller branches with less density
- Automation of processes and control
- Consolidation of operating centers
- Optimization of branch network based on
customer needs and branch usage trends
Their total amount of branches has been shrinking for the past few years, however they’re not expecting to eliminate any more for the time-being. Their future branch network will be predominantly office space. You might have 3 advisors in a branch, but only 1 teller. As day-to-day needs and customer service becomes largely digital, the focus of the branch will be on sales.
The Important Numbers
While day-to-day foot traffic in branches reduces, sales efforts in the branch show strong return. People might be moving to digital for simple transactions, but when they do come to the branch they have a high chance to buy.
What It Means Industry-wide
The traditional branch is going to evolve over the next few years. It’s been reported that as much as 34% of adults haven’t been to a branch in 6 months or more! Digital log-ins are rising as people get more comfortable with the idea (and convenience) of online and mobile banking.
The unfortunate side effect is a more remote customer base. The banks that can’t get customers into the branch for sales will not be able to compete. So, as the makeup of the branch changes, the makeup of online and mobile experiences must change too. Banks need to offer richer online experiences that go beyond transactions in order to generate sales.