The Digital Branch: a story of evolution in banking

  • Mapa ResearchBy Mapa Research, 
  • September 18, 2015

Our seventh report of the 2015 Mapa Insight Series takes a look at the digitisation of the branch. Over the past few years we have seen more and more banking activities migrate over to digital channels and away from bricks and mortar branches. We explore the way banks are using technology to re-imagine and re-engineer the bank branch to ensure they remain relevant as consumer needs and expectations evolve. Our research highlights three key areas of development: enhanced self-servicing, customer experience, and sales/advisory services.

The report covers examples from across the globe that illustrate different approaches to meeting the challenges faced by the branch network. As customers continue to carry out more of their basic banking activities via digital channels, in order to stay relevant we expect branches to become more like sales/advisory hubs. Despite this, our report found that while more banks are rolling out initiatives aimed at improving the customer experience and increasing their self-servicing capabilities, we have seen few examples of technology being harnessed for advisory purposes.


Additionally, most of the banks we looked at seem to largely be in exploratory phases, many of the initiatives and concepts highlighted are being trialled in pop-up stores/flagship stores at present. Conversely, we have seen a small number of banks that are leading the way in the way that have transformed their branch networks. BBVA is one stand-out example that has rolled out a robust initiative that addresses all three of the key areas we have looked at, the changes have also been rolled out across numerous branches across Spain.

Some examples of branch innovations featured in the report include:

  • Enhanced self-servicing facilities
  • Remote advisory services
  • Customer identification technology
  • Interactive tools that generate personalised recommendations
  • Areas to trial new innovations

With many initiatives still in their infancy, this will be an exciting space to watch over the next few of years. Here at Mapa we will be tracking developments closely to see what new innovations emerge and which concepts have the desired effect and longevity. For more information, please contact us today.

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