Will Britain’s last local bank branch close its doors in 10 years time?

Thanks for voting – if I’m honest I’m a bit surprised by the result.

73% voted for: “No, branches will survive” – but if this is to be true what customer need will they actually be meeting in ten years time?

So, if local bank branches will still be around in ten years time what function will they be performing on our High Streets?

The need for cash deposits and withdrawals in ten years time looks unlikely, the challenger banks have already proved you can much more efficiently open a bank account remotely, cheques will probably have ceased to exist (or certainly the remaining few examples of this payment relic will be deposited via phone apps), online apps using rich Open Banking data will provide personalised online mortgage and loan quotes and digital Eagles will have had their day.

What functions will be left for a bank to provide?

Will bank shareholders permit the continued high cost of maintaining a legacy and increasingly inactive bricks and mortar presence?

Even with banks co-locating their branches, developing the Post Office service model, opening branches in supermarket kiosks or installing sophisticated ATM machines offering a wide range of services I can’t see what bank service wouldn’t be better served in a digitised form now let aline in ten years time.

So like videos from Blockbuster, TV’s from Radio Rentals and 7 inch singles from Our Price, the need for a physical bank presence on the High Street is fast coming to a close as our banking and payments needs are better served in a rich (open banking enabled) digitised form.

Our focus must not be on the preservation of physical bank branches for their own sake – our focus must be on delivering accessible and inclusive digital banking for all.

The icing on the cake will be digital banking solutions that fully embrace the opportunity that Open Banking offers.

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