Customers conduct more of their transactions virtually with their mobile phone or on a computer online. Brick-and-mortar branches are changing from teller lines heavy on financial transactions to higher technology places for bank officers and customers to meet.
This transformation is true for PNC.
However, the future of the bank branch is not dead, said
"The historical branch was a transaction-oriented branch and that is what's changing, is technology has allowed the customer to utilize those transactions at their convenience versus having to go to a branch," Melin said.
"What the branch now becomes is more customer-focused, more information-centric. I would say in terms of once you come in there, we need to know who you are, why you're there and be able to handle those needs quickly because you're not coming back every week to cash your payroll check."
The bank branch "becomes much more of a service, sales-oriented ... base versus six people behind a nice marble gated teller window to cash checks and change currency," Melin said.
Research found 18 percent of PNC customers use a branch as the primary way to bank with them. Mobile and Automated Teller Machine deposits represent 20 percent of all PNC deposits, up from 14 percent a year ago, not including electronic payments like direct deposit, Melin said.
That means more deposits are now made electronically, by mobile or ATM than in-person at the branch office, he said.
Because of "the technology that the industry is building around the client, we know our clients much better now than we use to in the past," he said. "The systems are talking to each other, so we can give more proactive advice to our customers instead of 10 years ago, it'd be kind of the product of the month" sales push such as credit card and home equity campaigns.
The changes also mean not every bank branch has to be the same size and model.
"You're going to have a mix. Instead of the branch looking like this with a drive-up window and a teller line in the back as you walk in and these big vaults, it's going to change. It already is changing," Melin said.
The mix of branches and services "allows you to be more flexible too as traffic patterns change or as demographics change in terms of growth areas," he said.
PNC is testing new branch formats in other markets. Earlier in August, PNC planted an 8-foot by 20-foot "pop-up" branch in downtown
The consultants also use iPads to demonstrate online and mobile services, PNC said.
This year PNC opened in the
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