Omnichannel Banking and Branch Reconfiguration: Strategies for “Lean Branching”


Omnichannel banking and branch reconfiguration strategies support lean banking and improved profitability

Research from Mercator Advisory Group examines the important role channels play in creating an efficient, effective, and customer-centric banking environment.

Published on: March 15, 2016
Author: Ed O'Brien
Alternate Point of Contact: Amy Dunckelmann

In this research, Omnichannel Banking and Branch Reconfiguration: Strategies for “Lean Branching,” Mercator Advisory Group reviews how branches remain relevant and an important element in lean banking initiatives being considered in today’s banks and credit unions. 

Mercator Advisory Group believes that omnichannel banking and branch reconfiguration strategies can improve efficiency for banks, credit unions, and thrifts and contribute to profitability not only by reducing costs but through pleasing the customer. We dub this concept “lean branching” and believe it can support the broader goal of “lean banking,” the concept based on the well-established principles of “lean manufacturing” which prescribe iteratively eliminating inefficiency and waste in operations to continuously improve productivity. 

“Financial institutions are experimenting with a wide variety of branch options that are highly efficient and offer hub-and-spoke configurations with various full-, self-, and assisted-service options,” comments Ed O’Brien, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Banking Channels Advisory Service and author of the report. 

This report is 24 pages long and has 11 exhibits. 

Organizations mentioned in this report include: ACI Worldwide, Capital One, Chase, Fiserv, FDIC, and Wells Fargo

Highlights of this report include:

  • Description of the evolving business models that offer the potential for great operational efficiencies and organizational effectiveness 
  • Mercator Advisory Group’s survey statistics on U.S. consumers’ changing bank loyalty, use of self-service, and interest in advice and guidance from their banks or credit unions 
  • Description of various channels configurations ranging from traditional full-service interaction with tellers to self- and assisted-service options within various branch business models 
  • Illustrated examples of some of the many channels configurations being used by banks and credit unions 
  • Overview of new lean banking concepts that include open branch layouts, investments in new technology, and areas for consultation and advice 



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