Technology is Where the Rubber Meets the Road

FCNB Employee-focused Blog Series: Part 3 Technology

Branch Transformation Snapshot: The Value of Automation Technology

This is the final post in a three-part series on First Citizens National Bank’s branch transformation. Earlier, we looked at people and process changes; today I’ll talk about how technology played a role in evolving the bank’s presence for the new financial ecosystem. 

Technology resonates through many aspects of a typical branch transformation. Legacy equipment and outdated back-end technology is the norm, rather than the exception, and many FIs are coping with multi-vendor hardware and software due to mergers and acquisitions.

We’ve already outlined the efficiency improvements that First Citizens National Bank (FCNB) gained when they introduced electronic cash recyclers (ECRs). The recyclers helped transform an outdated process and enabled branch staff to spend more time building relationships with their consumers – a lynchpin of Diebold’s integrated FITbanking™ philosophy.

Beyond introducing technology to help improve staff efficiency, FCNB also integrated self-service technology into the branch experience. Historically, self-service banking has been absent inside branches — it’s typically exiled to the exterior. By integrating new transaction channels into the branch lobby, FCNB was able to migrate routine transactions to self-service and free up banker time to focus on building relationships. Moreover, the introduction of in-lobby assisted self-service terminals (ILT) helped the bank increase self-service transactions 66%. Simultaneously, cross-sell rates grew 50% and consumer loyalty scores increased. In other words, FCNB has enhanced the consumer experience, grown relationships, and improved satisfaction while migrating routine transactions to self-service.

FCNB also brought self-service authentication to their safe deposit boxes to improve efficiency and convenience. The bank implemented a biometric electronic vault attendant (EVA) that authenticates consumer access to their box by reading their handprint. The EVA system allows consumers the flexibility of entering the vault without having to wait for a staff member. It also reduces the time staff are pulled away from the branch lobby to manage safe deposit box retrievals.

As we’ve explored throughout this series, branch transformation is greater than the sum of its parts. A balanced approach that addresses changes across the enterprise is critical for success. Evolve branch staff beyond transactional roles to focus on relationships, and provide the staff with the resources to get there. Revise processes to remove activities that pull staff away from consumers, and deploy technology to enable consumer convenience and drive richer interactions with your staff.

Key Takeaways:

  • Technology can save you money in the long run. Migrating transactions from the teller line to self-service can save FIs up to 75% per transaction.
  • It gives consumers more options. Solutions such as the ILT offer a hybrid approach that enables the consumer to choose how they complete their transaction – on their own or partially assisted by branch staff.
  • Technology can actually enable deeper relationships. At the end of the day, employees become relationship builders. They become digitally enabled technology champions, with new roles and responsibilities, more efficient processes and better opportunities for growth.

Is your employee at the heart of your branch transformation strategy? Let’s talk about how to make your staff the cornerstone of your initiative.