ACF Technologies traditionally attend RBR’s Branch Transformation every year. This time, Simon, Valentina and Laurence attended the 2-day event to see the latest trends in the world of retail banking. Branch Transformation is an annual conference taking place in London. This event presents keynote topics focusing on customer experience, transformation and branch design as well as provides a great opportunity for networking.
Highlights from Branch Transformation
Cash is not dead
Yes, there is a growing number of digital transactions and many people, including the author of this article, don’t even use cash. However, not everyone feels the same.
According to the Payment Markets Report, cash payments fell to 15% of all transactions. UK Finance claims that in ten years, the number will decline to just 6% of payments. On the other hand, based on RBR’s Global ATM Market and Forecasts, cash withdrawals from ATMs are expected to increase. How? Governments and banks in regions such as Latin America are committed to providing better financial services to underbanked population segments (spoiler: we are preparing new content focusing on this topic with CX Insider Podcast, stay tuned). Additionally, up to 70% of respondents based in the UK said that cash gives them a sense of security and peace of mind. So, despite its usage decline, people still wish to keep the cash.
The role of the branch in today’s world
Another pain point that has been at the centre of attention in the last couple of years is the role of the branch. With declining footfall and the rise of omnichannel and digital services, banks are finding it difficult to justify the role of branches. Yet, there is still a considerable segment of people who prefer to visit their local branch for whatever reason. But how can banks utilise the physical space and justify its cost? For example, some banks started redefining the function of the branch itself and transformed it into a multipurpose space offering non-financial services. This concept is usually implemented in busy urban areas such as capital cities. Another idea that was highly discussed at Branch Transformation 22 was the concept of shared branches and banking hubs. Essentially, these hubs are installed in places where most banks closed their branches but still aim to provide accessibility. Rural communities are usually the use case of this concept. The pioneering fintech company OneBanx is standing at the forefront of this innovation.
Has Buy-Now-Pay-Later reached its peak?
You might not be familiar with the term Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) but have heard the name Klarna. This company is a Swedish fintech that offers its customers to pay for items in several small payments. Without a doubt, BNPL can provide many benefits such as the option to furnish your apartment all at once rather than having to buy one piece of furniture each month. However, it does have its risks. For example, running a BNPL creates a risk of loan stacking, which means that users take out more BNPL loans than they can repay including loans on things like groceries. Despite this consumer behaviour tendency, the market is predicted to expand to $94.9 billion.
Was Branch Transformation 2022 worth it?
100%. It was fun! Branch Transformation is a great opportunity to meet people from your industry, listen to new ideas and industry insights and educate yourself on the latest trends. We’ll definitely attend next year. The question is, should CX Insider Podcast bring its own recording booth?