For more than a decade, banks have used digital touchpoints to provide more convenience to customers, and, in turn, wring operational costs out from common transactions like bill payments and account transfers. This strategy has worked; online banking use is pervasive, and mobile banking continues to grow rapidly. More consumers are even opting to use direct banks—institutions that serve customers via the internet without any physical locations.
Retail banking has now reached an inflection point. While closing branches might be a short-term fix to trim costs, many customers still show a strong preference for having convenient access to a physical banking center, especially when seeking out financial advice or performing more complex, emotionally involved transactions.
An omnichannel approachóserving and engaging with customers in an "anytime, anywhere" fashion—is being touted as a way to give banks of all types and sizes more flexibility to meet consumers' constantly evolving preferences.
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