Needless to say, over the last 12 years, the Internet has dramatically changed the bank/consumer relationship. Looking ahead, mobile technology promises to accelerate that dynamic and make the physical branch less relevant.
At the turn of the century, banking was being disrupted by online upstarts such as NetBank, Wingspan Bank and TeleBank. At the same time, many of the larger regional and money-center banks saw the importance of the online channel and built rudimentary websites that allowed for basic tasks such as checking balances and account history. These services were followed by online bill pay – perhaps the most talked about feature of the day. Over time, additional self-service features were added allowing online customers to manage the bulk of their banking needs via the web. As a result, many predicted the imminent demise of the physical branch.
But branches never died and, in fact, they seemed to flourish. In Manhattan, where our offices are located, there seems to be more bank branches popping up than Starbucks locations. But then something happened in the form of a little black box called the iPhone. Only five years old, the iPhone has ushered in the smartphone era and, with it, changes in consumer behavior that will impact banking in the years ahead. This includes