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Reimagining banks: From branches to experience stores

Across the world, banks’ physical branch networks are being impacted by trends including the shift to digital transactions, customers’ continuing demand for a “human touch” and consumers’ rising expectations set by other retail experiences. But while the pressure will continue, the best response isn’t to cut back towards zero branches.

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Instead, the solution lies in transforming the branch network – a strategy that can take out significant cost while improving revenue through the network. In Accenture’s view, what’s needed is to turn traditional branches into “experience stores”: an agile, integrated network of environments that are multi-format, geographically-tailored and digitally-enabled.

These new branches will be experience-led and empower the front line with convenient technology. They’ll also emphasise the human touch that customers still demand at key financial moments, by complementing the technology with empathy.

To create an experience store network successfully, banks will need to take a modular, globallystandardised and locally-flexible approach to customer offerings and experiences based on a ‘kit of parts’. They’ll also need to manage the overall business and systems architectures on a crosschannel global basis and drive employees’ behavioural change starting from the customer experience mindset, not a procedural or regulatory standpoint.

Accenture believes that those banks who undertake this type of transformation will succeed in addressing the long-standing “problem” of their branch network and turn it into a positive asset – as well as a source of differentiation and competitive advantage with customers compared to their digital-only challengers. Those players who move earliest to seize this opportunity will have a head-start in realising the benefits. So the question is: why not start today?

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English

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36

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