Prendergast, Gerard and Marr, Norman E. (1994) Towards a branchless banking society? International journal of retail and distribution management, 22 (2). pp. 18-26. ISSN 0959-0552

The increasing provision of self-service technologies such as automated telling machines (ATMs) in retail banking means that customers now have a variety of means of carrying out their banking business In many cases, the functions of these technologies overlap with the functions of the bank branch. Seeks to determine the form and function of the retail bank branch network in New Zealand, in the presence of these self-service technologies, to the years 2000 and 2010 To achieve this objective, a Delphi study was conducted with leading experts from both banks and technology supplying companies The results indicated that in the short term the bank branch in its current from will remain very important. In the longer term, while the bank branch will still be very important, one can expect a reduction in numbers In part this reduction will be caused by the availability of remote banking technology which reduces the need for the bank branch The main city centres will supply customers with staffless branches – a branch which is dominated by self-service technology In branches which are still dominated by human staff, tellers will become salespeople armed with platform automation, i.e. personal computers which both themselves and customers can access to in order to obtain product profiles and other information Self-service technology in the branch “vestibules” will also become widespread Given these findings, banks will need to monitor continuously, in terms of profitability and customer service levels, the human/technology mix in their branches In addition, banks will need to recognize and reward front-line staff who display selling skills.

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