Why convenience and personalization are essential to bank branches

Last updated: 01 June 2017

Bank branch


Bank branches are heading for a deep transformation and not extinction, contrary to what some might think. As we discussed in our previous two posts, physical branches can give traditional banks an edge over their digital-only competitors. As a visible reminder of the brand identity and a critical tool for reaching out to older customers, branches may still have a vital role to play.

However, bank executives need to realize that branches must change for the digital era. They should become connected spaces and enhance the omnichannel customer experience, providing personalized advice, and generally making life much easier for customers. As we’ll show, a great way of achieving this is by installing self-service kiosks. Kiosks themselves have existed before, but new technology can provide consumers with a greater range of convenient and personalized services.

Enhanced customer experience

To deliver an effective omnichannel banking experience, bank branch kiosks should make life as easy as possible for consumers. Card issuance is one example; currently, people must wait for up to a week for a new bank card to arrive. With self-service machines, they can quickly pop into a branch and print one out on the spot, as well as instantly discovering their digital PIN. The kiosks also come with a user-friendly interface, designed to ensure a seamless experience, while reducing the amount of time a bank must deal with customer queries on the telephone.

Personalization is another key benefit of self-service kiosks. As financial services get increasingly competitive, customers are going to opt for banks which offer more personalized services. Mobile-only bank Monzo, for instance, has been so successful because it lets customers know what they’re spending their money on – eating out, groceries, bars – and makes recommendations based on these spending habits. The in-branch experience needs to adapt accordingly; self-service kiosks allow customers to customize their bank cards, set spending limits per store and a wide range of other personal settings.

Each customer is unique and technology at the branch must focus on customizing the client experience by maximizing the use of profile data and creating specific offers. The machines allow customers to choose customized artwork for their bank cards, as well as receiving tailored advertising and a friendly welcome message.

In summary, Gemalto’s self-service kiosks provide connectivity without losing the human touch. By allowing customers to connect to digital services, they enable quick enrolment and simple verification of biometric credentials like fingerprints and facial recognition, granting access to personal financial data. Crucially, they free up time for bank representatives to focus on educating customers and providing expert knowledge.

Easy to deploy

Not only do these self-service kiosks offer lots of benefits for bank customers, they’re also easy to deploy. The kiosks come with high levels of security; all activity is recorded and logged for fraud control, while the devices can be “logically locked”, so that they can only be opened with the approval of the issuer. The machines can also be easily integrated into branch transformation strategies – they’re compact, portable and can be easily installed in “self-service areas”, whether inside the branch, or externally for 24/7 access (similar to most ATMs today).

Plus, it’s a business-friendly solution; banks have the option of installing a full service based on a cloud solution, which encompasses all assets and operation activity.

Success stories

Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s leading financial institution, has already embraced Gemalto’s self-service kiosks. The bank’s staff are already enjoying the ability to deliver expert advice to their customers, concentrating on value-adding activities. To log into their accounts, people just need to enter their existing card into a reader inside the kiosk and use their PIN for verification. It’s easy and simple!

There is a strong chance that artificial intelligence for IoT will lead to services being automated thanks to context analysis, simplifying man-machine user interfaces. For the time being, though, it’s vital that bank branches adopt self-service kiosks for enrolment purposes, while providing a personalized customer experience that gives them the edge over their competitors.

You can read more about our bank branch solutions and self-service kiosks at our dedicated webpage.

What do you think about the bank branch of the future? Let us know by posting a comment below or tweeting to us at @Gemalto.

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