The modern banking experience is being transformed by digital tools and a millennial cohort eager for easier and faster financial transactions. Capital One, for example, is testing hybrid café locations where U.S. customers can enjoy banking and chill. Canada’s BMO Harris Bank allows customers to withdraw cash from an ATM with their smartphones.
Chase Bank, meanwhile, is piloting a new branch format that simplifies routine transactions like withdrawals and deposits with six redesigned “Everyday Express” branches in New York City and Culver City, California.
A Digital Advice Bar, in an Apple Genius Bar-like touch, invites customers to engage with Chase advisors to discuss digital products. Video conferencing is also available to connect customers with specialists for more complicated issues.
“Chase, more than any of the large banks, has made significant investment in expansion of physical capacity in key markets around the country,” said Steven Reider, founder and president of the marketing and branch-planning adviser Bancography, to Tearsheet.
“Chase is distinct from any of its top 10 peers in terms of its willingness to enter a new market and expand branch networks aggressively.”
That means digital advisors armed with iPads loaded with the Chase mobile site can handle basic skills like money transfers using QuickPay with Zelle. Paying credit cards and other bills is also possible.
Branches are becoming more compact and intimate, digitally-oriented spaces to better reflect how customers use a brick-and-mortar facility—four out of every five monetary transactions are currently completed through self-service channels.
“There’s a continuum from a small community bank that’s 100% branch dependent to an Ally that’s 100% online,” Reider stated. “Chase is farther in terms of the balance of the concessions toward the physical.”
“There’s an aging society, the baby boomers who are approaching or at retirement,” he added.
“Financial institutions see and appropriately fear the loss of those funds and that the parent generation passes away” and they’ll lose those funds. A customer comes in and says ‘I want to talk about retirement planning’ and the bank may say, ‘Our officer isn’t here but we can video with her right now or we can set up an appointment for you to go see her.’”
Chase is trialing six pilot branches with the new customer experience, and will evolve the new spaces according to how customers use them.