Universal Banker. Universal Teller. Universal Agent. No matter what you call them, you can’t argue they’re popping up at banks and credit unions everywhere. Many institutions are “banking” on the success of these highly-trained super associates as a way to combat issues like declining branch traffic and rising operational costs.
Changing customer needs and demands have given rise to the universal banker concept. Technology allows customers to manage many of their banking needs outside the branch. And when customers do visit the bank, it’s often for technical support or assistance with a service or problem they can’t manage for themselves. Universal bankers can perform traditional teller transactions but also help customers with higher value conversations such as refinancing a mortgage, applying for a car loan or even opening a new savings account.
The term ‘Universal Banker’ can and does mean different things to different people. But that’s part of its appeal and why it works. It’s a concept that can adapt to the requirements of a particular market or branch and evolve as needs change. Banks can staff an entire branch with universal bankers or start with one or two. No matter the approach, it allows financial institutions to maximize staff resources while meeting a variety of customer needs. Just as it’s more cost effective to retain current customers than win new ones, banks can retain their experienced associates; transforming them from tellers to sellers.