Why are financial institutions still investing in branches?

Interview with Whitney Loe Part 1

Despite an accelerating adoption of digital banking in response to the pandemic, credit unions and community banks are still going full steam ahead with physical branching strategies. We recently sat down with Whitney Loe to ask why. As Director of Business Development at Ignite Sales, Whitney has gained a unique perspective of consumer behavior and preferences uncovered by analyzing data gathered by the platform.

This is the first of a two-part series covering our interview with Whitney on the future of banking. In Part 2, Whitney discusses the transition to digital banking and the role of personal interactions as the industry transforms. Keep an eye out, or subscribe to be notified when it’s published.

Momentum: With the transition to digital banking accelerating due to the pandemic, why aren’t financial institutions just ditching branching altogether?

Whitney: If you read financial industry news, this is probably featured every day. You’ve got a big difference of opinion. There are some people that really think that branches are going to be non-existent by 2050 or even 2035. That’s a little out there, but I think the people that have been around for a long time and have seen what’s going on before and after the pandemic understand that we’re not ditching branches because they’re still going to remain relevant. There’s still going to be some form of human interaction that’s going to be desired in a physical presence. It’s just going to be a lot different than how we see it now. Branches are not going to be so much transactional as they’re going to be experience related. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t think we’re going to lose some branches or that the physical branches aren’t going to change.

 

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