The future of branch banking has arrived with analytics-driven IT support

By: Domenic Ciccone


If the past few years are a guide, the future of branch banking will be shaped by consumers’ heightened technological expectations. Nearly half of consumers now do their banking only through digital channels. They typically use their mobile devices to pay bills, deposit checks and receive notifications about their account balances. But the increasing use of digital services doesn’t mean customers won’t need their branch banks. In fact, 62 percent of customers surveyed by PwC said that it’s important to have continued access to local bank branches.1

This means banks have to mirror the success of their consumer-grade applications and provide responsive digital services inside their branches if they want customers to enjoy a seamless end-to-end banking experience. Meeting that expectation, though, won’t be easy without complete IT support. To learn more about how banks can chart a new path to providing seamless digital services, register for our June 5 webinar here: How Will IT Support for Branch Banking Evolve in the Next 5 Years?

Too many vendors for one bank

Even though a majority of banks want to become more customer-centric, less than 20 percent of them are prepared to take the right steps, according to PwC.2 Perhaps the biggest hurdle facing banks as they tighten their focus on customers’ needs is consolidating IT support from their many technology vendors.

Branch operations and IT managers want to transform the customer experience, but implementing the technology environments necessary to achieve that goal might have them dealing with as many as 15 different vendors. Where they once only had to worry only about getting a quick fix on a broken ATM, they now have to contend with varying repair response times from their many different tech vendors, all of whom service equally critical aspects of the infrastructure.

Facing increasing pressure to meet customer expectations, banks recognize this outdated support approach leads to excessive costs, complications, and inefficiencies — this just won’t cut it in the fast-paced digital age.

Analytics drives proactive IT support

Fortunately, the future of branch banking is looking up. Banks can streamline IT support into a singular service that takes advantage of data analytics, cognitive computing and augmented reality to help make good on the promise of a seamless customer experience.

The ATM and Banking Services arm of IBM Technology Support Services uses predictive analytics to foresee potential issues with technology and schedule a repair before a system or application goes down. With that kind of foresight, critical technology such as an ATM can be proactively repaired at a time when it’s least used by customers. Service calls are addressed by creating the right action plan and coordinating the right person for the job, using the Watson Service Platform, Cognitive Dispatch and Automated Parts Process functionalities.

Of course, not every maintenance and repair job goes smoothly. Even the most seasoned technician needs help. That’s why IBM service technicians use augmented reality (AR) applications to work on difficult technological fixes. AR provides the professionals back at headquarters with a view of the problem, leading to a faster resolution. Sometimes, several heads are better than one.

With analytics driving continuous assessments of every facet of operations and proactively identifying potential problems, bank branches can serve their customers with confidence, knowing that their sole IT support service is working around the clock to ensure higher availability, lower costs and increased customer satisfaction.

To learn more about how IBM is proactively preparing for the future of branch banking, read our whitepaper “‘How Will Branch Banking IT Support Evolve in the Next 5 Years?”.



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About The Author

Domenic Ciccone

Global Business Line Executive, Financial Services, IBM Global Technology Services (GTS)

Most of Domenic’s career has been concentrated in the financial services industry, with a specific focus on ATM and retail banking. He joined IBM six years ago in the self-service banking unit in Canada. While there, he led bank consulting engagements in Europe on ATM operations. For two years prior to assuming his current role,... Read more