Building the Next-Generation Retail Finance Branch

Manasee Dash Global Lead, Financial Services Solutions, End-User Computing, VMware

Manasee Dash
Global Lead, Financial Services Solutions, End-User Computing, VMware

“Banks should start to branch out into the storage of our feelings,” said Chris Skinner, chairman of the Financial Services Club, in a recent article about why banks should focus on relationships.

This quote applies perfectly to what is currently disrupting retail branch banking, and where it seems to be trending. Industry pundits have been predicting the decline of branch banking for over a decade, and some have said that branch banking will be dead in another 10 years. The question VMware is asking now, though, is not whether branches will exist or perish but how different they will be.

The Evolution of Branch Banking

Industry research from Accenture shows that 66 percent of consumers plan to use the branch in the future as often as they do today or more. As retail banking products become increasingly commoditized, the customer’s experience with the bank may be the only opportunity for the bank to differentiate itself. This trend marks a major shift in the role of branch banking from the traditional transaction-processing venue to an interaction-driven hub of sales, advisory resources, and consultative selling.

In response, financial services institutions are starting to leverage disruptive technologies to offer best-in-class customer engagement with a combination of self-service and hand-holding that connects and captivates the customer during every interaction. Wells Fargo’s “Neighborhood Bank” format leverages technology with assisted service options through ATMs, or if a customer needs assistance, a team member is ready to assist with a wireless tablet. Umpqua Bank recently announced the opening of a branch where associates are equipped with laptops allowing them to open accounts or serve customers anywhere within the store environment. TD Bank and PNC Bank are using tablets and iPads in branches to engage with customers and streamline the onboarding process.

This “new-age” branch staffed by freely moving employees accessing data and information on the go is game changing. By centralizing, automating, and delivering the flow of data and information in a secure manner anytime, anywhere, on any device, financial services leaders can lay the foundation of a 24/7 branch that makes banking simple, effortless, and convenient for customers.

Read the Branch Digest here.

VMware 24/7 Branch Anywhere Solution

VMware 24/7 Branch Anywhere is a modern solution that simplifies and centralizes the management of banking kiosks, teller workspaces, banking applications, ATM images, and mobile devices. The business impact on branch banking is vast.

This solution enables small and medium business lenders to approve a credit line extension on the go; it provides financial advisors with the tools to review portfolio performance and reallocate assets in real time; it ensures non-stop availability of ATM terminals and physical desktops using centralized management, across high- or low-bandwidth environments; it provides tellers with continuous access to transactional and business-critical apps; and it empowers universal bankers to cater to various customer personas in the branch. VMware 24/7 Branch Anywhere solution does all of this while maintaining security and compliance policies.

Read the Reference Implementation Case Study for Retail Financial Services here, and learn more about Retail Branch Transformation here.