I received a letter from my UK bank during the summer of 2015. The bank declared the sad closure of its facilities however I am now to be served well at another branch several miles away. For a short instant I felt a little sadness and then I never even blinked before moving onto the next item from the mail box (the physical one!). Well this story does not sound too shocking or unusual but what came after a couple of day did.
Signs of change in pensioners reactions
Each weekend I ensure my children get an opportunity to speak with my mother. She is not a Skype or Facetime techno savvy lady in her 80's and so a traditional weekly phone call keeps the bond close and news updates current. Guess what...not a mention; nope she never raised it once. I was expecting an outburst of frustration or complaint of how dare the bank move to another town where she will need to take a bus to.
Long live the past
So, there you have it, if my own mother did not raise any concerns about a bank closing and she is happy to use the local ATM, post office and debit card at the local shops then it is fine. Banking is no longer something we need to go to or visit. I am kind of glad this progression is moving forward. I recall as a child the frustration of had been sat on a chair with my short legs swinging under the seat whilst I waited for my mother to pay a bill or deposit some money. These actions are now done outside the bank and closer to the community and the future young generations can spend more time in the play grounds or on their tablets.
Fintech to expand the customer experience
The opportunity this provides to banks and the growth of Fintech as an industry is interesting. A culture that holds post offices and banks almost as close as pubs to provide charm and character to the local villages does not seem to be reacting too strong to the changes in the financial sector. My mother is well connected in the local community and I am sure if the rest of her pensioner friends felt discomfort about the bank closure then this would have been voiced. However, the time seems to be correct, relevant and acceptable for Fintech and the banking community to set new performance management targets for customer satisfaction without including too many interactions at a physical building.
Banking can make sweeping changes
When an industry makes radical changes there is normally up roar due to the change cycle, however I seen a deeper acceptance by communities and encouragement by states to move towards mobile banking services. So will the banks be the same in the future? No, but they will survive as the Fintech sectors provides new solutions to the payments and financial experiences for customers.
Performance metrics for banking
A shift in banking customer metrics will no doubt need to rise as more services are moved away from branch level actions and driven to more online and mobile devices.
What are your thoughts? Do you still feel the need for a banking branch in your community? What satisfaction metrics would be most appropriate for your experiences in the financial sectors?