Unicredit is looking into the concept of staff-free, self-service branches, says the Italian bank's head of multichannel, Federico Sforza.
As more consumers turn to digital channels to conduct their daily banking transactions, the downward trend in branch activity levels is accelerating, fuelling the debate over the value of branch networks in a 21st century banking model.
Some banks have responded to the changing landscape by introducing video ATM technology, which allows customers to talk to call centre staff through a screen, meaning branches can be open 24 hours a day and employee fewer people.
Sforza says that while Unicredit is "experimenting" with unattended branches, the prospect of a network of employee-free sites "far from reality". Instead, he points to partially-unattended branch where advisors can assist customers with more complex matters, providing a human touch.
Watch Sforza discuss unattended branches here: