October 15, 2019
Are tellers an endangered species?
Transforming from physical to phygital [the marriage of a physical enterprise with a digital platform to meet the needs of tech-savvy users who demand online immediacy but still want personal service] requires agile leadership and organizational changes to how a bank functions. The best example of that is the reduced role of the teller. With bank branch traffic down by about 50%, there are about 50% fewer tellers in the industry.
This trend will only continue. It's no secret that 85% of the digital generation (born after 1981) uses mobile online banking, avoiding tellers altogether. Research predicts that will be even higher for Gen Z customers (born after 1996). Convenience and excellent apps are the main reasons they say these customers choose a bank. (2018 study, Raddon Research).
Certain businesses that generate a lot of cash are among the last branch customers to require tellers for deposits. These days, almost 60% of checks deposited are done via online apps, requiring only a scanned photo of the check. With digital self-service, customers access their accounts at any time they choose. With online services and ATMs, the teller has quickly become an endangered species.
So, if not tellers, who faces the branch customer now? In a progressive environment, all employees become modern branch bankers — financial consultants rather than financial salespeople. They offer strong product knowledge and are equipped to handle most transactions. They provide reliable, non-commissioned guidance, creating trust and valued relationships.
Adapting to this shifting workplace, online video apps can bring customers right into their bank branch, and right to your desk. Customers can see they are speaking directly to a knowledgeable banker, not someone in a call center. This provides online convenience and personal attention when your customer wants both.
"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic."
- Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, author, educator