Sharon Kam @ Bank of the future conference

— “Phygital branch design for the new one-channel banking” Kuala Lumpur, September 2018. —

The debate whether the bank branch will exist in the future is interesting and it is very crucial.  If you think of the branch as it is today, it will likely not. But when you see how the branch can and has evolved, it certainly will play a big role in the future.

Here below some sentences from Sharon Kam, DINN! SEA regional director, speech at the conference:

#1 The focus on the physical branch has to change because of digital.  The physical space remains relevant but it has to be designed and used in a very different way.

#2 These are key takeaways from my sharing today.

  • There is a new way of purchasing in banking and general retail
  • The old logic of offering the same thing in every channel and leaving it to customers to decide how they use the channel is not longer effective nor relevant.
  • It is now one channel i.e. one unique experience with physical and digital complementary and integrated, deploying physical space for what is better suited for, and deploying digital space for the other aspects where digital is better for.
  • It is a completely new way of banking because of how digital and physical work together


#3 This new approach is not just for banking, it is the new retail.

Retail has 4 major functions for the customers

  • Research

Customers now check online for store availability, check out websites and compare products and prices; they see the physical store windows’ displays and browse in the stores

  • Advise

They talk to the sales specialists to understand the product

  • Buy

They check out via mobile payment or complete the purchase online;  alternatively, they pay the physical register or at self-checkout machine.

  • Pick-up

Either digital or physical.

Omni-channel is where all 4 functions are in both digital and physical

One channel is integrating these 4 functions or phases in a complementary way in the spaces that work best.

How are banks moving towards the one-channel approach?

Here are 3 major directions:

  • Multi-format touchpoints – not confine to the usual, expected formats
  • The environment in the space is designed to reach new customers and for advisory. Not an office space we see in many banks for the bank staff but space for the customers.
  • The retail attitude where products are promoted more but in a more reassuring and quality manner.