Report Published: "2020 Foresight Report: Branch Network Development in a Multi-Channel World"

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Jun 21 2013

As the costs of branch banking increased in the 80s and 90s, banks attempted to reduce costs by reliance on centers, mobile and online channels to lower costs and improve service. The digitization of banks has made transactions more convenient, but the need for human interaction will prompt branch banking's evolution. Retail branches remain the core banking channel, though the advancement of technology and associated changes in consumer behavior has led to the growth of alternative channels for transactions. Over the last two decades, new delivery channels such as ATMs, call centers, online banking and mobile banking have become formidable substitutes for bricks-and-mortar banking. Banking customers are using a mix of delivery channels to fulfill their banking needs. Increasing internet and mobile penetration has led to the growth of online and mobile banking channels, leading to the reduction of local branches. Despite the decline of bank branches in some key developed countries, some growth is expected from new market entrants who are aggressively increasing their networks. A number of branches appeared in emerging economies to provide basic banking facilities to rural populations. In March 2013, the Finance Minister of India inaugurated 300 new branches in a single day in rural India. Some growth is expected from retailers such as Wal-Mart who have acquired banking licenses in several nations. Given the choice, customers will usually pass automated devices and queue for a human teller. Human customer service offers a convenient mode of transaction while also being capable of more complex tasks. Customers and banks typically acknowledge that some of the basic transactions, including credit application and financial advice, still require a branch visit.

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Key Highlights

* Branches still have the largest share in sales of products and services
* Developing countries still hold potential for bank branch network expansion
* Mobile banking is an important channel for the unbanked
* Banks are investing in customer analytics and CRM technologies to improve customer/bank relationships
* Banks are revamping branches to increase traffic and cross-sell products and services
* Assisted self-service branches to emerge as the most popular branch banking model in the future
* Branches in developed markets are becoming increasingly digitized


* This report provides a comprehensive analysis of branch network development in a multi-channel world
* It provides detailed analysis on banking channel evolution by products and services
* It outlines the impact of current regulatory changes on branch banking
* It provides an insight into next generation banking models
* It assesses the impact of changing consumer behavior and technological advancement on branch banking

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