Imagine walking into a bank and being greeted by a welcome screen powered by facial recognition software and data analytics that identifies you as someone who doesn't own a car.
Armed with that information, the bank's video wall gauges your interest in buying one. It superimposes your image in front of a new SUV, "opens" the door and gives you a view of the cockpit. You're then asked if you're ready to buy. If you say, "yes," you'll be offered a loan on the spot, based on the bank's existing data on you. A nearby banker hustles over to answer any questions after getting an alert about your interest in a loan from a hand-held tablet.
Welcome to the “smart branch” of the future.
These possibilities are laid out in a study titled "A bank branch for the digital age," from consultancy McKinsey & Company, which highlights that the behavior of bank customers is changing rapidly. Since the financial crisis nearly a decade ago, an average of three bank branches have closed every day in the U.S., totaling more than 10,000, the study noted.
"Banks have to rethink what the role of the branch is," says Sheinal Jayantilal, a co-author of the McKinsey report.
Even with downsizing and shifting consumer habits, the rise of digital and online banking "does not spell the end of the branch," the study found. The reason: roughly 80 percent of Americans still prefer a human touch for some or all of their banking needs. And physical locations are still important when it comes to banks selling loans, investments and advice.
Read more in USA Today.