Reinventing Bank Branches of the Future

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Digital and online banking had been steadily on the rise in recent years, but the pandemic forced large-scale uptake, and it seems unlikely that many customers will ever go back to purely in-person banking. The rapid shift to web-based interactions has led many banks to conclude that traditional physical branches are losing their effectiveness and to close many bank branches.

Customers are finding it easier to adapt to digital transactions to fulfill most of their financial services’ needs. Half of consumers are using digital products more than they did before the COVID-19 crisis began, and 87% of them plan to continue to do so even after the pandemic recedes, further eroding branch transactional activity.

Nonetheless, the demise of bank branches is greatly exaggerated. Customers are overwhelming satisfied with digital banking for some services, but many still want an in-person experience, at least for complex or “financial lifestyle” services. One long-term role of branches will be to provide advice on complex financial products like mortgages, insurance and investing. In fact, a recent Celent report states that 77% of customers want a face-to-face conversation for a substantive discussion about their finances.

Read ISG’s 15-page whitepaper to learn how to reimagine your branch strategy for the future of banking.





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About the authors

Owen Wheatley

Owen Wheatley

What he does at ISG

To say Owen Wheatley comes prepared to work through your operational concerns and transformational needs is an understatement. As ISG’s Lead Partner of Banking and Financial Services, he treats his 25+ years of experience in this ever-evolving, customer-centric field as a replete lexicon of applicable knowledge, relevant learnings and potentially executable solutions. In doing so, he makes the ethereal and theoretical, actual and obtainable.

Past achievements for clients

Knowledge-sharing is second nature to Owen. He provides his clients with market insights and meaningful thought leadership and helps them understand what similar (or different) organizations in comparable situations have done regarding transformational change. Many of Owen’s clients have sought his expertise to strengthen their customer engagement on the digital front, enhance the employee experience to improve the customer one and navigate new ecosystems—like integrating emerging partnerships—endemic to the industry. He makes sure that untangling this complexity and harnessing your new relationships always lead to your number one goal: driving better results for your banking or financial institution. In fact, Owen:

  • Led a consulting team to design a commercially groundbreaking and elaborate deal for one of the largest hedge funds in the world to reimagine its middle and back-office operations, lessen the bureaucratic demand on the front office and serve institutional clients better. The measures of success for this co-designed and collaborative project included defined stages of excellence and experience metrics, delivered in a commercial model which positions all parties for success.

  • Managed a large team of advisors to provide market insight and an "outside-in" perspective to multiple major North American banks looking to transform their operations, including indirect auto lending, core banking, cheque processing and the entire cash ecosystem.

  • Led a team of experts in helping to transform the HR technology and operations of a major European bank, including designing the right strategy, creating the roadmap and business case, selecting the right partners for a new ecosystem and ensuring expedited and effective implementation.

Sagnik Biswas

Sagnik Biswas

Sagnik is a Research Manager & Principal Analyst in ISG and has more than 11 years of experience in conducting in depth research and data analysis to identify upcoming industry trends. He is actively involved in developing thought leadership and opportunity analysis papers on next generation themes in the global sourcing market focused on the Banking & Financials, Travel & Transportation and Application Development & Maintenance space. Sagnik has also led multiple location optimization client engagements covering location selection, cost/talent benchmarking, and identifying talent hotspots with future skills.
Vaibhavi Vijayakumar

Vaibhavi Vijayakumar

Vaibhavi is a lead analyst with ISG Research, with over 8 years of experience in BFSI Industry, she is well-versed with research on go-to-market strategies, survey analysis & deriving data-driven insights by researching industry and technology trends. Vaibhavi is adept in interpreting & synthesizing learnings from various sources & drawing actionable insights for Research papers. At ISG, she is responsible for authoring thought papers and ongoing ISG Momentum Insight research reports.
Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds leads Momentum, a division of ISG that provides research services to help service providers better target, win and retain business. Paul has 25 years of market research experience with specific expertise in methodology development, data analytics and research process design. Having found many service providers’ Advisor Relations functions to lack appropriate analytics, Paul is working to develop innovative new approaches that allow for data-driven programs based on the unique needs of each client. His approach benefits Advisor Relations, go-to-market functions, sales, strategy, marketing, and market/competitive intelligence teams.