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9 Common Pitfalls When Addressing the Virtual Branch

When was the last time you as a consumer were in a branch?

If you’re like me it’s been awhile. In fact the last time I was in a branch was about a month ago. My 21 year old daughter wanted to cash a check that she had received so I suggested we go to our local branch. I really wanted to do this to view the experience through her eyes so off we went. We drove to the branch where she went through the process of standing in the teller line and then having the check cashed. As we were leaving, she commented just how foreign the whole process felt. When I asked why, she said I never go to the branch because I do all my banking online. In other words she uses the bank’s virtual branch as her primary means of contact, as do I.

With this as background, our EVP of Customer Experience and Innovation, David Peterson recently drafted a white paper entitled “Caring For Your Virtual Branch”. The paper covers the common pitfalls, elements needed in a virtual branch, who’s online?, the notion of self service, security, virtual branch requirements, virtual customer service and other elements needed for success of this emerging channel.

A little insight on what this white paper includes: The 9 common pitfalls financial institutions can run into when addressing the Virtual Branch.

1. Management failing to recognize the online channel as its own branch.

2. A lack of direct interaction between customers and FI staff. 

3. Letting concerns about security, risk and fraud delay or prevent the adoption of online banking.

4. A lack of exposure to advertising and other messaging.

5. Forgetting that customers are executing transactions for themselves.

6. Failing to inform customers what equipment they need.

7. Relying on traditional methods to provide training on how to best use the online channel.

8. Staffing for support of physical-branch customers only.

9. Ignoring the virtual branch as a major revenue engine.

I invite everyone to download and read this educational white paper to further explore this important topic in more detail.


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