Are bank branches dying? A data-driven approach to revitalizing your network
October 3, 2022
5 min read

Are bank branches dying? A data-driven approach to revitalizing your network

The surge in digital banking, neobanks and mobile bankers, not to mention a global pandemic, has challenged the relevance of physical branches. In a world of online competition and less in-person banking, how do established banks capitalize on their huge investment in branches? It all starts with data.

Are you flying blind on major decisions?

Unlike digital activity which can be tracked in real time, physical branch monitoring has been stuck in the dark ages. Many banks are essentially flying blind when making multi-million dollar decisions about branch planning, renovations, lease negotiations and workforce optimization.

Traditionally, manual time and motion studies of branch activities have extrapolated findings from small samples, theories and assumptions, and expensive consultants have done their best to make sense of it.

The results are vague recommendations and guesswork that don’t enable truly informed decisions, let alone provide for proactive monitoring and optimization over time.

Access real-world data across your branch network

The good news is that advanced technology is now available to continuously measure, analyze and understand physical data from across your branches to intelligently solve challenges in workforce utilization, service delivery, property management and cost optimization.

Combining edge computing, machine learning and advanced analytics, with discrete in-branch cameras and sensors, Beehive for Retail Banking leverages artificial intelligence and evidence-based simulation to put latent capacity to work, automate workforce schedules and optimize branch design.

This secure platform provides cost-effective remote management across hundreds of sites, backed by powerful software to reduce costs, boost productivity and improve customer service at scale.

With a rapidly expanding user base, RocketBoots Beehive has been deployed at 5 of the 7 largest banks in Australia, with proven return on investment and savings across hundreds of branches. 

“Accurate measurement of branch operational metrics was complex and sometimes impossible for us. Forced to use inaccurate measurement approaches such as generalized time and motion data, untestable assumptions and inaccurate substitute data delivered suboptimal outcomes, but Beehive solves this.”

Measure. Understand. Optimize. Repeat.

Successfully navigating evolving competitor and consumer behavior is underpinned by accurate real-world analytics. By showing you exactly where you are today, Beehive for Retail Banking unlocks the ability to innovate and improve over time:

  • Continuously collect rich data: Mass deployed, remotely managed discrete cameras and sensors gather data such as entry counts, arrivals, touchpoint utilization, service levels, queue length, handling times, staff utilization, responsiveness and more.
  • Analyze and optimize performance: Once you have accurate data, the latest machine learning, analysis and simulation tools use advanced AI to identify specific cost and time saving opportunities in your workforce allocation and branch design.
  • Balance physical and digital channels: Gain a clear view of staff utilization in branches and redeploy latent capacity to online channels to cut wait times and increase revenue generating activities.
  • Streamline branch resourcing: Empower regional and branch managers to automate and simplify scheduling and rostering, as well as benchmark results and best practices against their peers. The results speak for themselves.

“We met service levels and reduced the weekly schedule by six hundred hours across the branch network within three months of installation.”

  • Reduce property capital investment and operating costs: When refurbishing, moving, negotiating leases or opening new branches, use data to optimize the precise needs for space, meeting rooms, tellers, equipment, fitout and staffing to reduce costs while meeting target service levels.
  • Improve net promoter scores (NPS): Uncover customer service risks by region, branch, day or hour and resolve issues with wait times, queue congestion, staff responsiveness and interaction lengths.

Reports of branch deaths are greatly exaggerated

There has been much hype about their demise, however branch numbers in the US are down just 12% from their 2008 peak1. As we covered in Why the rise of digital banks makes branches more important than ever, the branches of established banks provide a major competitive advantage over virtual banks by leveraging the personal relationships, community connection and brand trust.

While closing branches will cut short-term costs, it will also lead to lost customers, less differentiation and a race to the bottom on margins, as we concluded in less in-person banking should mean smarter branch design, not more closures.

If your bank is interested in optimizing branch operational costs and improving customer service at scale, contact RocketBoots to learn more or arrange a demo.

Joel Rappolt

CEO of RocketBoots (ASX:ROC), software that assists with the transition from branch to digital banking by optimizing staff productivity, service levels and property spend.

You may be interested in...