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What will it take for bank branches to succeed in 2014?

Self-service coin counter machines will continue to be crucial tools for retail bank branches around the country as many financial institutions begin planning ahead for success in 2014. One of the defining characteristics of the banking industry this year is the fact that the growth of digital technology has had a profound impact on the in-store experience offered by these businesses. As more organizations offer tools that make it easier for individuals to remotely access basic services, many banks have wondered whether a physical presence in local communities even matters anymore.

According to the online publication BAI Banking Strategies, many financial institutions have yet to find an effective way to adapt to these new industry trends. Here are three simple planning strategies companies can use to regain sure footing in 2014:

1. Find the right balance for a true omnichannel experience
Contrary to what bank managers may believe, the answer to recent developments in digital technology isn't gradual closure of the in-person branch. In fact, BAI Banking Strategies said financial organizations have a much better chance at increasing overall revenue by striking an equal balance between online convenience and the unique services available at physical store locations. Rather than separating these categories, a more dynamic and integrated experience may ultimately lead to greater success in the long run.

2. Set clear goals
The publication also recommended banks make all of their strategic businesses with specific goals in mind. For instance, if these companies want to drive more foot traffic to their local branches, offering access to self-service coin counting machines is an effective way to target more people. Many individuals appreciate the ability to perform simple tasks such as converting collected change into cash without the help of a teller. However, once they are inside the bank, they may be more likely to become interested in additional services as well.

3. Streamline the user experience
Simplicity is an important concept in the financial services industry. Money is often a complicated issue, and the more banks are able to make certain tasks easier, the more likely it is they will be able to retain customers for longer periods of time. An article in the online publication Bank Systems Technology said offering a more user-friendly in-store environment can serve as a complement to any omnichannel strategy. Self-service coin counters can serve as the backbone of these branch-based initiatives. 

January 8, 2014