Trends in retail banking channels: opportunities in a changing landscape

| Point of View

Retail banking is undergoing a period of rapid change. The adoption and usage of remote channels is growing while that of the traditional branch channel is declining. The role of the branch in the retail banking channel mix is changing, and it is now being seen as a channel for dispensing advice and in-branch self-service functions to customers. Many retail banks are embarking upon branch transformation projects, which in turn, is driving up the need for workforce optimisation solutions.

As a channel, mobile banking has achieved a critical level of maturity across most regions, and banks have made rapid progress over the last few years in shoring up their mobile banking capabilities. As a result, we are now witnessing several divergent trends in mobile banking: growing links with social media; increasing use as a lifestyle engagement tool; and rapid growth in mobile payments options. The availability of multiple mobile devices and platforms and the growing customer desire for a device-agnostic experience are forcing banks to converge mobile and online channels. Banks are shifting from a traditional siloed approach to a more holistic approach towards mobile and web application development.

Although looked upon by banks primarily as a tool for tracking conversations and pushing outbound sales, social media is witnessing an expansion among banks. In the long term, social media is expected to transform into a channel that drives brand affinity, guides product development, and acts as a tool to attract and retain customers.

This paper explores these trends and discussed strategies for banks to address the ever-changing channel landscape.