Rob Leiponis, CEO of Parabit Systems, explains the nuance of branch transformation to Fintech Finance.
Fintech Finance: What do banks need to do to meet the needs of the customer today as opposed to the customer from 10 years ago?
Rob Leiponis: the banking industry is doing a great job of accommodating traditional banking customers that are interested in going in to the branch to have a cup of coffee, to integrate with teller platforms as customer service reps as well as branch managers but they also need to focus on what the needs are of Gen X and millenials where there's a need for mobile banking and multiple touch points where there's fast and easy access to funds, make deposits as well as pay bills, lend a friend some money.
FF: In terms of the branch itself, what role do you think it plays with the millenials and the next generation after the millenials?
RL: I think what we're seeing in the US, many banks are starting to reduce the size of their footprint, put more technology, more remote support services and more access points for a smaller branch footprint. A lot of market research has shown that banks are no longer interested in having a large presence within a location within a specific town. They're more interested in branding themselves and making customers feel comfortable and willing to bank with that bank because they have a branch in that town.
FF: As a leading industry partner in the security space, what do you feel are the greatest risks in security breaches facing banks and consumers during these expansive changes?
RL: Cyber security is on a terror now. Most banks have done an excellent job of deploying different types of technology, preventing skimming, touch points at their ATMs, and quick deposits. Banks are spending hundreds of millions of dollars monitoring their systems, making sure that there are no entry points with any type of malware or black box type of devices as well as monitoring any type of penetration from an outside security attack.
FF: What are you going to be bringing to the table in 2017?
RL: Our latest product, our multi media reader, supports magnetic stripe, contactless EMV, NFC, as well as Bluetooth technology. We released the product in August and have shipped about 2000 units to banks throughout the world. It's an add -on to an existing access control panel that's in thousands of branches around the world. We are developing a mobile app that's going to support the NFC and Bluetooth side of the hardware set that will allow banks to monitor customers coming in to their facility and provide an easier access point in to their facility, track when they come in and leave, where they are spending their time within the branch so they can get statistical analysis on what the customer behaviors are so they can react more intelligently to answering the demands of their customer.
FF: Speaking of answering the demands of the customer, what role do you think the branch is going to have moving forward and what does it play for customer loyalty?
RL: The role of the branch of the future is branding. Customers want to feel comfortable that their bank is showing a presence in the community they live so that they want to bank with them. Bank branches are shrinking in size, technology is improving tenfold. A lot of the technology we see today was developed and designed many years ago but the customers weren't ready for it. Now with the introduction of mobile as well as other new technology, it's easy for customers to get access to their money, through their mobile device, tablets, desktops or laptops.