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Could cash play a bigger role in transformation projects?

With the enormous pressure facing the industry from customers and competitors alike, many banks are redefining their in-branch strategies. In fact some 2,274 branches underwent a refit in the past two years alone demonstrating that banks are clearly realising the need to redefine their physical presence as part of an overall multi-channel offering. As redefined strategies look to capitalise on process and cost efficiencies, some are making radical changes to the traditional branch, turning them into cost effective spaces that offer customers convenient everyday banking services.

So what does this all mean for the role of cash? In the branch of the future, cash will play the central role in delivering value to both the business AND customer. Deposit transactions are estimated to take up around 40% of a branch’s activities and costs and so any action to manage cash more effectively could provide potential for significant cost savings.  

Cash management should not be treated as a mundane, repetitive process but should be considered as a prime area for business improvement. Utilising cash optimisation techniques – alongside knowledgeable staff – has proven to drive substantial process efficiencies.  Having a team of staff free to roam the branch, speaking to customers and securely handling, and recycling, cash on the floor is a concept which is being considered by many. Of course, this requires a change of culture; but it can elevate the role of the traditional banking clerk to that of a customer service advisor, helping to answer questions, take deposits and ultimately keep customers happy.  Spending more time with customers face-to-face will, of course, help to improve chances of deepening relations; but it’s also proven to lead to 35 per cent more business opportunities.

In the context of branch transformation, the way cash is handled needs to be seriously considered alongside consumers’ increasing appetite for digital services. We live in a convenience culture where consumers are more empowered than ever and getting the right balance of banking options is vital to a successful omni-channel offering. 

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