Where’d My Teller Go?

In our last Photizo news byte we investigated the ‘gig’ economy and the transformation that has been going on in that industry. On the heels of that analysis comes an industry that has been going through transformation as well – the banking industry.

It was reported that Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan “shut 389 branches since third quarter of last year.” Bank of America has reduced the number of its branches over 23 percent since the financial crisis and is now under 4,700.

“The times, they are a-changin’” as Bob Dylan sang. Various trends have been occurring due to the interest in self-service channels like mobile banking, online banking, and improvements in transactions using ATMs. Banks are emphasizing more value added services for life events like mortgages, saving for college, and investments. So, there has been an increase in hiring investment and mortgage specialists.

Despite this uptick in hiring, the industry is under pressure to cut costs due to changing consumer behavior. Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions wrote an ominous report that it believes the firm could reduce headcount by 30 percent or more. The main interaction between customers and the bank is moving away from tellers and toward mobile banking. This means fewer bank branches are needed and fewer people to work in these branches.

Once again, digital technology takes its toll on another ‘bricks and mortar’ industry. Why wait in line when a person can either make a phone call and complete transactions or use an app?

Banking and financial institutions have depended on the printing industry for decades. With the transformation going on in banking, what effect will be felt in your hardcopy company over the next few years?

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