Bank branches have seen a modest decline over the past few years, thanks to the wide adoption of the smartphone, now customers are choosing to use online banking instead of visiting their local branch.

Consumer visits to retail bank branches are set to drop by 36% between 2017 and 2022. Customers who do use their branch are visiting less frequently, and some consumers are less likely to use their branch at all. According to a research paper by CACI, Customers interactions with their bank will increase by 54% in the next 5 years and banking app transactions will increase by 121%.

Technology is driving change and banks are starting to adapt the way they are interacting with their customers. They are looking at improving their customers online and mobile experience.

So, how will the retail banking industry continue to keep the same level of service when there isn’t that ‘face to face’ interaction between customer and retail tellers?

It’s essential retail banking provide an enhanced digital customer experience to continue to retain and win customers. The market is looking to the implementation of Artificial intelligence and omni-channel solutions. AI is a set of emerging technologies that is revolutionizing the way customers engage with their bank.

According to the ‘2018 Retail Banking Trends Report’ the three main predictions are:

  • 61% of organizations predicted that the industry was going to remove friction from the customer journey
  •  57% of organizations predicted an improved use of data and advanced analytics
  •  42% of organizations predicted enhancements in multichannel delivery

What ways can AI benefit the retail banking sector:

The Customer:

  1. With the increase in online interactions in banking, AI is meeting customers demand for self-service options. Customer service is always on – available anywhere at any time, 24/7.
  2. Artificial Intelligence virtual assistants can interact with customers and provide a high level and personalized service, answer customer’s questions and perform simple banking tasks to achieve better customer satisfaction.
  3. Allows organizations to provide customers with personalized service before they even require it.

The Contact Center Agents:

  1. Employees are able to focus on higher-value activities and less repetitive tasks, freeing up more time to deal with more complex issues.
  2. AI can reduce the efforts of agents routine menial tasks.
  3. Reduction in transactional errors.
  4. Increase their salary base as they become more specialized.

The Retail Bank:

  1. Reducing any unnecessary operational costs.
  2. Ease the pressure on the contact center that previously experience high call volumes and long wait times, increasing customer retention.
  3. AI tools can help to identify the nature of each interaction, so that it can be passed to the most relevant channel, agent, or service. This reduces cost through efficiency.
  4. The predictive power of data means that AI can analyze historical data to identify patterns into actionable insights for the call center and predict the customer behavior, potentially leading to a higher conversion rate on offered products.
  5. Maintain brand reputation, as there hasn’t been a compromise in customer service levels.

To find out more about the AI technology available in the market today, read our latest blog on ‘demystifying the difference between AI and Chatbots’.

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