The Bank Branch of the Future – Microsoft at BAI 2011

Bankers at BAI this year seem to agree that bricks and mortar banking is here to stay, despite the growth in digital channels. But the role of the branch would be very different and more enabled by technology.

What the bank branch of the future might look like is very much the theme of the Microsoft booth at this year’s BAI. Bankers looking for a vision of the future will find plenty of ideas on display.

Tablets are redefining the branch experience.

Windows 7 slates featuring digital signature technology impressed many booth visitors with its ease of use and practical application. One bank in particular commented on how much easier the digital signature was on a Windows slate than other devices. Better than a wet signature and a lot more secure.

Even rubbing out errors was a better experience on the screen than on paper.

Data is a big theme this year as banks try to learn more about their customers. Pitney Bowes predictive analytics solution was on display at the Microsoft booth illustrating how US Bank had used this solution to increase revenues by 300% in one division, reducing mailing costs by 40%.

Fiserv’s EnAct reminds us of the importance of CRM for enterprise sales management - a solution designed by bankers for bankers. And Harland Financial Solutions shows how bankers can use Microsoft Outlook to access a complete history of the customer’s relationship through a simple mouse click straight into a bank’s core systems, all on display on the Microsoft booth.

Mobility captures everyone’s imagination and the new Windows Phone has attracted a lot of interest for digital and bricks and mortar bankers alike. Both the Bank of America and USAA mobile applications on the Windows Phone are on display. And there were many enquiries about Microsoft Surface, the collaborative table top technology that allows families and friends to explore financial options together.

Compensation has been a burning issue across the industry. How do you track compensation across the bank and audit it so that you can manage rewards and incentives more effectively in the short and the long term? Tying compensation to performance has never been more important. Varicent on the Microsoft booth are displaying their enterprise solution for banks trying to get to grips with this.

Looking for a vision of what the branch of the future might look like? The video on the Microsoft booth does just that and many banks were asking how to make that vision a reality.