Open 24 Hours: Bringing the full Capabilities of the Bank Branch to Digital channels

In my previous blog I presented the idea that Financial Services firms are now expected to operate and be “Open 24 Hours,” and that underlying this is their transition from a physical to digital business model.

This post will build on this principle by exploring the factors that are driving this change and some of the challenges that need to be addressed.

The explosion of digital devices, mobile apps, Wi-Fi everywhere, cloud computing and broadband Internet is providing consumers with increasing ways to explore and shop online. With increased use, shopping and buying online is fast becoming the normal approach, especially with younger consumers.


Increasingly, Canadians start their purchasing journey in the digital space – primarily on the Internet. This initial step is usually preceded by a referral by a friend, colleague or family member based on a superior experience. Typically the trend for consumers, especially in the retail industry, is to shop online and purchase offline.

How is this manifesting for retail banks? Just look at the forecasts of usage patterns and changing transaction mix across retail banking channels. Recent industry surveys all confirm that the volume and mix of transactions is forecasted to change over the next 5 years. The Internet and mobile channels are increasing in usage, while the branch channel is expected to remain flat or, in developed markets, expected to decrease. In addition, the nature and type of transactions traditionally completed in the branch is shifting to the digital channels as more technology-enabled solutions are deployed.

All new innovations start out with limitations, and quickly become more robust over time. Customer expectations also increase as these innovations become mainstream. And so too it is with Canadians who are now beginning to expect that they can complete all banking transactions – that is purchase online – over digital channels just as they are able to do in the branch.

With more Canadians choosing to engage through digital channels, retail banks need to work through the challenge of bringing the full range of service capabilities in the branch to mobile devices and online.

With the power of when and how to interact shifting to the consumer, retail banks must deal with new logistical challenges. For example, how do we structure and staff to deliver services in a 24 hour / anytime operating model? How do we ensure that the customer experience is superior and consistent regardless of the channel they choose to initiate the interaction with our bank? How might we be able to transact in every channel vs. just at the branch? How might we ensure that we have the right resources / expertise at the point of interacting which is now controlled by the customer? How do we optimize operating cost while expanding the operational footprint?

Source: CEB Tower Group Financial Services Channel Transaction Volumes – Canada – March 2013

Source: CEB Tower Group Financial Services Channel Transaction Volumes – Canada – March 2013

The good news is that the technology of today, and the near future, will create new and more options for how banks overcome these challenges. But it is important to note that the operating model and logic for service delivery and distribution must be reconceived based on the new capabilities that current and emerging technology innovation brings.

My following blogs will explore how retail banks can begin to develop the capabilities enabled by technology to address the operational and logistical challenges inherent in operating in a customer-driven 24-hour world. Stay tuned.

About Geoffrey King

Geoff is the Lead for Cisco’s Business Transformation solutions for the Financial Services Industry in Canada. Geoff works with Business leaders in Retail Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance to develop initiatives that leverage Cisco’s expertise, products, services and partners to improve operating economics, deliver distinctive client experience, and drive service delivery model innovation. Geoff draws on a broad base of international leadership, business transformation and mergers and acquisition experience in large private sector organizations and private-public sector partnerships in Canada, the US, and Emerging markets. Prior to joining Cisco Canada, Geoff worked with the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, a strategic partnership composed of the major Financial Services organizations, three levels of Government, and Educational Institutions, focused on building the international reputation of the Toronto region as a vibrant and strong Top 10 Global Financial Centre. Prior to his return to Canada in 2009, Geoff was based in Barbados, where he was a member of the senior leadership team building and expanding CIBC’s Caribbean multi-line franchise, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank with operations across 17 countries, and in Houston Texas with Williams Communications Solutions, leading the integration of several acquisitions. M. King est le chef des solutions de transformation des activités pour le secteur des services financiers de Cisco Canada. Dans le cadre de son travail, M. King collabore avec des dirigeants d'entreprise des domaines des services bancaires au détail, des services de gestion de patrimoine et des assurances pour élaborer des initiatives qui tirent profit de l'expertise, des produits, des services et des partenaires de Cisco pour accroître la rentabilité des activités d'exploitation, offrir une expérience utilisateur distincte et favoriser l'innovation en matière de modèle de prestation de services. M. King s'appuie sur une vaste expérience de leadership international, de transformation des activités et de fusions et d'acquisitions, laquelle a été acquise au sein de grandes sociétés du secteur privé et de partenariats publics-privés au Canada, aux États-Unis et dans des marchés émergents. Avant d'entrer au service de Cisco Canada, M. King a travaillé au sein de la Toronto Financial Services Alliance – partenariat stratégique composé de grandes entreprises de services financiers, de trois paliers de gouvernement et d'établissements d'enseignement – centrée sur l'accroissement du rayonnement international de la région de Toronto à titre de centre financier fort et vibrant figurant parmi les 10 plus importants centres financiers au monde. Avant de revenir au Canada en 2009, M. King travaillait à la Barbade au sein de l'équipe de cadres supérieurs chargée de bâtir et de faire croître la CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, franchise multigamme de la CIBC aux Caraïbes, qui exploite des bureaux dans 17 pays. Il a aussi travaillé pour Williams Communications Solutions à Houston Texas, où il a dirigé l'intégration de plusieurs acquisitions.
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2 Responses to Open 24 Hours: Bringing the full Capabilities of the Bank Branch to Digital channels

  1. Pingback: Interaction Technology: Neutralizing the barriers of time, location and staffing levels | Cisco Canada Blog

  2. Pingback: “Open 24 Hours A Day, Seven Days A Week”: How Virtualization Is Making This Possible For Banks | Cisco Canada Blog

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