By Scott Thompson
Despite the popularity of virtual banking, consumers still value the bank branch.
That’s according to the Cisco IBSG Omnichannel Banking Study of 5,300 consumers in five developed countries (Canada, France, Germany, US and UK) and three emerging countries (Brazil, China and Mexico.)
Other findings include: consumers globally rejected the idea of highly automated branches with limited personal attention and expertise, with 26 per cent saying they would leave their current bank if personal attention and advice were eliminated from their bank branch; Overall, consumers want to use all the options available to them across physical and virtual channels. Frequent users of virtual channels also visit branches more frequently, with 30 per cent of users of virtual banking channels also being frequent branch visitors (two-plus visits per month).
In terms of mobile, 13 per cent of consumers in developed markets and 18 per cent in emerging markets prefer to use mobile banking applications for real-time expense tracking, personal finance management (PFM) and payments. Only one per cent of consumers in developed markets and eight per cent in emerging markets indicated a preference to use the social media channel for conducting banking transactions.
Cisco launched the research alongside its Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail Banking, which helps enable virtual face-to-face meetings via high-definition video between customers and specialty lending, wealth management and other types of banking advisers, from any bank branch, in real-time.
Jorgen Ericsson, vice president, Global Financial Services Practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), comments: "Banking is transforming rapidly, driven by changes in regulations, macroeconomic pressures, new customer demands, technology advancements and increased competition. A fundamentally new approach to banking is needed with an emphasis on a combination of both improving customer experience and simultaneously reducing costs. Our study shows that customers are ready for a new era, and the solution will be omnichannel banking."