Experience Transformation: A different way of considering the branch of the future and three technologies that will set you apart

By Matthew Gaspari, EVP/COO, Tucson Federal Credit Union

Matthew Gaspari, EVP/COO, Tucson Federal Credit Union

"Analytics, Chat Bots, Artificial Intelligence, Self Service, and many others are part of a strategic discussion going on in financial institutions. Understandably, given the pace of innovation and the level of disruption, finding a competitive advantage can be a game changer even if short lived. However, sometimes innovation is right in front of us and we cannot see it, so it simply cannot be the answer, right? Surely, technology is driving change and therefore, we must continue to innovate and implement to meet the demanding customer expectations. Branch transformation comes in many shapes and sizes; the choices are endless and each is marketed as a “must have” solution. Whether it is a “must have” is up to the institution, but there are solutions that provide a unique way of looking at Branch Transformation. In fact, Branch Transformation is potentially a misnomer. Consider Experience Transformation instead, where people are as much a part of transformation as technology. The following are opportunities to set your transformation strategy apart; two of them seamlessly integrate human touch and innovation. Interactive Teller Machines:

At a recent invitation-only roundtable, a handful of credit union COOs from around the country discussed strategy, challenges, vision, and opportunity. At the top of the agenda was the Interactive Teller Machine (ITM). The ITM reimagines the teller experience by integrating video, teller software, and an ATM that is on steroids. Those who have already implemented ITMs discussed competitive advantages, ability to leverage staffing costs, and improving their brands as innovative institutions. To a person, while the technology is amazing, the overarching key to success was the workforce. The ITM creates a level of engagement that makes one forget they are looking at a video screen. Further, the interaction is so engaging that credit unions have credited the ITM for IMPROVING the experience. Imagine that, or reimagine that as it were. The implementations can vary, in the branch, as a replacement for the drive-thru, or a hybrid approach, but if the strategy is to transform the experience, ITMs need to be included.

Video Banking:

This is not your grandfather’s video conferencing. Video Banking integrates the full scope of an interaction on screen, enabling the financial institution employee and the customer to see each other and share documents in real-time. This last piece of innovation was necessary to take video banking to the next level, making it an integral part of any transformation. Similar to the ITM, Video Banking is a seamless integration of technology and the human touch. Leveraging staff across multiple locations and eliminating unproductive down time is a business use case in itself. Add to it the quality of the technology that allows for a virtual interaction that is as good as or better than in person and it becomes a necessity. The customer chooses the delivery method, time, and location best suited for them, and isn’t that where we are trying to get to from a service delivery perspective? It creates a competitive advantage separation immediately.

"Technology integrated with the human touch can truly transform the banking experience."

Mobile Appointment Scheduling

Statistically, between 50 to 80 percent of appointments are no shows and as many as 30 percent of approved loan applications do not fund. That is ROA we cannot afford to lose but we are, each day, week, and month. Auto decisioning and Remote Signature likely are in your arsenal already, and those help quite a bit. However, the third game changer and experience enhancer, a technology that reduces no show appointments by nearly 70 percent is a Mobile/Remote Appointment Scheduling technology. Mobile Appointment Scheduling software integrates with most corporate email solutions, allows the employees and supervisors to manage their calendars, and lets the customer choose the time, place, and employee. Some integrate with “Reserve with Google,” which turns a location search into a single click appointment opportunity. In addition, as the appointment draws nearer, reminders are sent in multiple delivery formats. We have all used this technology in other industries; it needs to be a staple in ours.

Clearly, many innovations can enhance a branch transformation strategy and financial institutions have different plans, budgets, and expectations. Nevertheless, what sets a great institution apart from an exceptional one is the experience. Think Ritz Carlton. Think Apple. It is one of the few and true differentiators remaining. Technology integrated with the human touch, well, that can truly transform the banking experience. Be sure to give these solutions consideration and good luck in your transformational journey.

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