The Bank Experience of the Future

1 First thing first: the experience will not equal the channel. Will banks have branches 10 years from now? Yes. Will they have mobile apps? Yes. ATMs? Maybe—the persistence of cash is the variable. But when customers think of their banking experience, they won’t think of a branch or a device. They’ll feel it instead: accomplishment, or comfort, or confidence—or perhaps anxiety if the experience isn’t meeting their needs. That unified experience will be delivered across every channel, and experiences that start in one channel will easily migrate to another and another as needed. A customer might use an app to deposit a check, receive a tailored product offer, swing by a branch for more details and confirm the new service over text.

“More than ever, customers will expect us to value their time and deliver services that are uniquely suited to their individual, personal needs—all while seeing the mobile or digital realm as a greater extension of the bank itself, rather than just a tool for looking at balances or depositing a check.”

Scott Peters, head of consumer banking, Regions Financial Corporation

“Artificial intelligence will handle a greater range of simple transactional functions, while bankers will develop a more personal, relationship-based model for complex banking and lending services.”

Bryan Luke, president and COO, Hawaii National Bank

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2 Branches will become sales and solution centers where customers can strategize with bankers over high-value products and long-term financial goals. They will also become third spaces for customers, doubling as meeting spaces and even co-officing for banks’ entrepreneurial small business clients. Drop-in traffic will be minimal and primarily for troubleshooting, not transactions; customers will text or use their app to make appointments with bank employee-experts.

“While we are seeing a migration of routine transactions away from branches to digital channels across the industry, productive branches remain critical to growth. We think branches will continue to play an important role and that our branch employees are critical touchpoints in the client lifecycle that technology cannot replace.”

Çagri Süzer, head of retail banking, BBVA Compass

“For in-person service, I expect more of it to be pre-planned and prepared. Already, our customers can go to Regions.com and say, ‘I want to meet someone at this location at this time to talk about this service.’ I think you’ll see much more of that in the future.”

Scott Peters, head of consumer banking, Regions Financial Corporation

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3 Today’s emerging technology will be comfortably embedded in the bank experience. Mobile banking will be fully mature. Biometric solutions like facial and voice recognition will have replaced static artificial credentials for account access. Voice-activated personal assistants will interface with bank AI to provide secure transactions and account information. Faster payments platforms will finally have made payments actually real-time—making things easier for customers but trickier for bank fraud teams.

“In the near future, we will have voice biometrics in our call centers that will eliminate the need to identify and confirm the customer’s identity for simple, low-risk transactions.”

Çagri Süzer, head of retail banking, BBVA Compass

“Positive identification of customers and prospects will be automatic and accurate with facial recognition software, cross-referenced with the various driver’s license databases to authenticate.”

Guy Williams, president and CEO, Gulf Coast Bank and Trust

“We are going with a mobile-first strategy. Instead of looking at internet banking, digital banking and mobile banking as connections to the branch, we reverse the order: internet banking, digital banking and branch banking are connections to mobile.”

Jeff Plagge, president and CEO, Northwest Financial Corp.

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4 Data will drive the customer experience, with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence solutions complementing relationship banking to ensure customers get the most tailored product recommendations when they are most open to them. Analytics will drive pricing in a way that maximizes sales and retention.

“Customers will be able to do more, quicker, with remarkably less friction, because data will be leveraged throughout the banking ecosystem.”

Bryan Clagett, chief marketing officer, Geezeo

“Big data and artificial intelligence are being leveraged to help us predict client behaviors and develop solutions and experiences that deliver a highly personalized experience to each client.”

Debbie Crowder, head of branch and premier banking, SunTrust Banks

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5 Banks of the future will be platforms for a broader range of products, leveraging technology to make origination and servicing cheaper and easier—and using APIs to allow partner providers to securely serve the banks’ customers. Financial services offerings will be more competitive than ever as a result. Meanwhile, banks’ leading cybersecurity posture will relieve wary customers who have been burned too many times trusting their personal data to less secure businesses.

“Access to funds and information will be much faster due to advances in money movement and new risk management models. Advances in cybersecurity will also enable more dynamic identity methods regardless of channel.”

Troy Land, SVP, Fiserv

“As we’ve launched sales through digital channels, we’ve seen production ramping up significantly. For example, the bank is poised to make its full entrance into the $1.3 trillion online consumer loan marketplace when it launches its fully digital Express Personal Loan to the open market. With EPL, the bank intends to disrupt the disruptors.”

Çagri Süzer, head of retail banking, BBVA Compass

“The ability to tailor the customer experience and keep pace with market changes is only possible if a bank’s underlying technology is flexible and interchangeable. This is where a composable architecture connected via APIs will have the biggest impact. The ability to plug and play different new technologies and implement best-in-class solutions will allow them to adapt to changes quickly and seamlessly.”

Eugene Danilkis, co-founder and CEO, Mambu

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About Evan Sparks

Evan Sparks
Evan Sparks is editor-in-chief of the ABA Banking Journal and vice president for editorial services at the American Bankers Association.