Any Branch Transformation initiative that ignores the back office is missing what could be a big opportunity. Not only is it important to cut back office cash-handling tasks down to size (efficiency), it is equally important to design a solution that addresses them effectively.
We have witnessed a number of branch transformation projects in which a decision to implement remote video-enabled ATMs has actually resulted in additive branch back office requirements for balancing and control functions. This is an unintended consequence for sure, taking the already limited branch staff off the sales floor!
In other cases, the needs of cash-intensive commercial or merchant accounts are forgotten in branch transformation discussions. This is not only true of coin depositing customers but also those who deposit large amounts of cash. If a given branch is only doing a few walk-in merchant depositors, filling a handful of change orders at the same time, and also balancing a few bags in the night drop, then automating and streamlining those activities can usually be accomplished using front office automation already in place. However, if merchants represent a target market segment or if a given branch attracts a large number of merchant cash depositors, then solutions designed specifically to automate these traditional back office, cash-intensive activities are needed.
Any comprehensive branch transformation initiative should include and assessment of these types of needs. Furthermore, the ideal supplier should have a wide range of coin and banknote processing solutions to draw from in designing the right solution for cash processing requirements, whether the need is to process small consumer cash transactions or a mountain of commercial cash in a back office setting!
According to core systems provider FIS, their data shows that back-office tasks, many of which are associated with the handling or processing of cash, account for approximately 20% of branch labor on average, stating also, “Process improvements in the back office should also focus on eliminating paper and manual tasks that can be replaced by automation. However, night deposits will continue to need servicing, cash shipments will not be eliminated, and ATMs will need cash replenishment and servicing by a real person.”i These things collectively represent a significant opportunity for efficiency gains.
Many suppliers offering solutions under the branch transformation umbrella have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of improving back office operations, especially as it relates to cash and cash handling. Consequently, they also have very limited ability to design a balanced solution to minimize back office tasks and while also optimizing them in conjunction with front office automation or customer-facing technologies.
Illustrating many suppliers’ limitations in this area and quoting renown psychologist Abraham H. Maslow, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”ii
In contrast, Glory does not have these limitations. GGS not only has the hammer, but also the entire tool chest, including the full range of cash handling tools, and can support your branch transformation front-to-back with the correct technology!
Glory has been helping financial institutions of all sizes improve their back office cash-handling processes for over a century. Our depth of experience and broad range of cash and transaction automation solutions can help you realize your vision for a transformed branch, including back office, customer non-facing, but essential tasks. For more information, please contact your Glory Global Solutions Account Manager.
Robert Allexon is an Independent Business Analyst and Consultant. His career spans five decades in technology-based durable goods sales and marketing and he is an expert in cash automation.
i)Branch Transformation: Enabling retail banking for the next generation, FIS White paper, 2015, p 7.
ii)The Psychology of Science, Abraham Maslow, 1966, p 15.