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Banking- the next target for disintermediation

July 6, 2010

Bank 2.0 is a new book on the future of banking by Brett King, it takes a look at the technological and societal trends that are forcing a massive change in the way we bank, which has obvious implications for the giant institutions that support consumer banking.

King suggests that the branch infrastructure could be one of the first things to disappear.

“Even if only 50 per cent of cash transactions are replaced by electronic stored value cards, debit cards and mobile wallets in the next five to ten years, the current ATM and Branch infrastructure that supports cash becomes almost untenable from a cost burden perspective. If you no longer need to go to the ATM to withdraw physical cash or currency, then everything you do on the ATM today can be done on your mobile App phone. If branches no longer need to deal with cash, then a large part of the reason for their existence disappears.”

The branch has been the most visible form of brand communication for most banks through history and the point of physical connection and a demonstration of their strength and security. Take the branch a way and you have a whole new world.

Just as an example- take a look at these images of the old Williamsburg Savings Bank to see just how the branch was used to communicate the brand’s power in an almost regal or Church-like manner. Ironically, the bank no longer exists and is now used as the site for a weekend flea market.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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