Not too long ago, as online banking was just getting underway, people speculated the old bricks-and-mortar bank branch was doomed. After all, why would people travel to a physical location when they could do everything online from their home or office? That concept was debunked fairly quickly as the idea of click-and-mortar took hold.
So what do we make of the mobile banking trend? Will it make online banking obsolete? Will it make traditional bank branches obsolete? The Smart Card institute thinks not. But it does believe mobile banking will usher in some branch changes.
“The role of the future branch will be primarily as a marketing and new account indoctrination center. Smartphone use will eliminate most face-to-face financial transactions, as well as paper checks, paper currency and plastic cards–not to mention the costs associated with those media. Card interface devices, check, currency and coin security and handling devices such as change makers, bill counters and ATMs will also disappear. All of these will be replaced by electronic messages, sent via the Internet, which smartphone customers initiate themselves and which provide the same information as the replaced media.”
This may enhance the role of the teller, which is already changing. No longer a rote task-taker, the teller of the future is basically a ground-level marketing professional, that is, a sales person. This is an interesting take on the future. I am not sure how it will all play out, but you get the feeling that branches are here to stay.
– here’s the article