Banksare moving toward more digital and mobile-based platforms to better address theneeds of millennials, while re-evaluating the importance of their branchfootprint. The best-positioned bank to benefit from these changes, in our view,is PNC Financial Group, becauseof its aggressive digital bank strategy, which envisions two thirds of itsbranches being transformed into more digital and millennial-friendly branchesby 2018.
Wesee two firms under our coverage–Discover Financial Services and Charles Schwab — as the primary beneficiariesof changing consumer preferences. These two companies are leaders in onlinebanking, with almost no legacy cost burden associated with extensive branchnetworks.
As financialinstitutions continue to reinvent the banking experience for their customersand members, they are including such foundational elements as branch design andreconfiguration and an expanded focus on digital and omnichannel banking. And while digital banking is hot — and adesired by many banking customers for daily transactions, some still want tomeet with experts when discussing important financial matters.
FIs mustn’t forget the importance that live, inperson (and sometimes virtual) interactions with subject matter experts have tomany consumers contemplating additional financial products such as savings andinvestment products and loans and mortgages. Each FI must understand the priorities of their customer base, andunderstand and respond to the unique needs of clients in various branches andmarkets.
Overview by Ed O’Brien, Director, Banking Channels Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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