Reinventing Bank Branches of the Future


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.

About the authors

Owen Wheatley

As ISG’s Lead Partner for Banking & Financial Services, Owen Wheatley has built a decorated career, serving major clients around the world, advising them on a broad range of market trends, emerging technologies and associated strategies. With responsibility for senior client relationships, business growth, go to market strategy and delivery excellence through the management of high -performance advisory teams across multiple regions, he sits on ISG Executive Committees in both the USA and Europe, and continues to be a widely published thought leader in the industry.

Sagnik Biswas

Sagnik is a senior lead analyst in ISG and has more than 10 years of experience in conducting in-depth research and data analysis to identify upcoming industry trends. He is actively involved in thought leadership development on next generation themes in the global sourcing market. Sagnik also leads multiple location optimization engagements covering location selection, cost/talent benchmarking, and identifying talent hotspots with future skills. He holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi University.

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 leads the ISG Provider Services group, which offers a variety of subscription -based research and project-based consulting services to the outsourcing service provider community. ISG Provider Services provides research and strategy guidance as well as helps service providers better target, win and retain clients.