Branch Renewal & Channel Integration: A Case Study on Citizens Bank
Market consolidation, technology advancements, and new product offerings are all squeezing retail bank margins. In order to remain competitive, many banks are moving to renew their branches. Moreover, a few leading banks are leveraging the need to replace their obsolete branch technology as an opportunity to begin integrating their siloed channels.
According to Anjalee Davis, banking analyst at Celent and author of the report, "Most banks agree that they inevitably will integrate their desperate technology systems. Many banks, like Citizens Bank, view the branch and call centers as the core from which to begin their channel integration projects. In addition, web-based enterprise platforms are gaining traction. Banks almost universally agree on the value proposition of a web-based architecture, but most are waiting for a few large banks to successfully implement such a system before they launch their own."
Celent’s new report, "Branch Renewal & Channel Integration" examines Citizens’ one and half year branch vendor selection process. Unlike many banks, they were able to sufficiently balance short-term application and longer-term channel integration priorities. Moreover, they used a structured methodology to promote collaboration between their technology and business teams. Banks currently embarking on, or even in the process of, upgrading their branch technology will likely find their practices instructive.
Citizens Bank used a unique approach for their branch vendor selection process. For example, they engaged the final two vendors for a live pilot to compare the vendors development and management capabilities. Moreover, Citizens Bank is one of the few banks to by-pass the Windows client server configuration - the one favored by the majority of U.S. banks - for a web-based architecture.
Celent predicts that spending on branch technology will prompt channel integration initiatives. At the same time, increased spending on channel integration will also drive investment in branch renewal.