A changing society has changed some of the ways customers and banks interact. For example, early efforts by brick-and-mortar banks to cut costs by promoting online transactions and electronic statements gave way to a new wave of competition from internet-based banks. This also severed some of the close relationships longtime customers enjoyed with familiar tellers and loan officers.
Another trend is small, community storefronts giving way to large institutions. Since legislation permitted banks to cross state lines and merge into large nationwide corporations, some have chosen to focus more on serving the needs of the masses.
Independent financial professionals and insurance agents remain focused on the needs of each individual client. The strategies we provide are never the same for any two clients, because your unique situation can’t be boiled down to a single number or a nationwide trend.
Banks are beginning to adopt changing philosophies to reconnect with lost customers. For example, Capital One’s new urban “café” branches are designed to appeal to hip, coffee-connoisseur millennials, with bright and open café-style branches where customers can purchase coffee and baked goods, hang out indefinitely and casually seek guidance.
While this approach may spark a revival of in-person banking, for the most part, transactions are likely to continue to shift online. Branches may start operating as more of a consultative office, much like going in for a visit with your lawyer or accountant. As locations consolidate, the drive to the nearest branch could become longer, adding to the appeal of making simple deposits or withdrawals online.
According to a new Digital Banking Report, banks in 2019 are expected to use more data to build individual customer profiles, as well as increased use of “box branches” -- a standalone, secure booth where one customer at a time can enter to conduct digital financial transactions.
Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app.
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