What to Do About Budget Cuts at Your Bank or Credit Union
The past year and a half have been unprecedented in many ways. For financial institutions, the business environment has been entirely unpredictable—the only thing that’s been certain is more uncertainty. Between unprecedented low-interest rates, large-scale government intervention in the form of direct stimulus checks, and a swing in the annual rate of change of gross domestic product of over 60%, it’s safe to say that we’re headed into uncharted waters.
Budget cuts at banks and credit unions are at the top of everyone’s mind. For one thing, many financial institutions are loathe to let people go for fear of the cost of training new employees in a complex industry. What’s more, new trends towards digitization in the banking industry have led many organizations to reconsider the role that technology plays in the services (and equipment) they offer to consumers. More robust digital banking and ATM options may decrease the need for branches to be open the same amount of hours.
With so many things up in the air, it’s vital to look at where you can make savings in your business and how new technology and service options can help you accomplish that goal.
Cut Maintenance Costs
Equipment maintenance costs can sneak up on you. Many financial institutions rely on a combination of maintenance contracts and time/material billing structures, resulting in an unclear understanding of how much they’re really spending on equipment repair, replacement, and service. On top of that, keeping track of everything results in even more expenses in the form of time spent juggling various vendors and a rotating list of expiration dates.
This arrangement is an accounting nightmare and a recipe for surprise cost overruns. Working with a service management provider, like Equips, can simplify the process and result in more time spent directly servicing customers and less time spent worrying about contracts and maintenance schedules. You can greatly simplify your budgeting and accounting and know what you’re likely to spend in any given month while still maintaining a high level of equipment performance. On average, working with Equips can reduce your annual maintenance expenses by 12-20% for the same—or better—level of service using your local, preferred service providers.
COVID has resulted in more people than ever before becoming familiar with videoconferencing tools to do everything from daily business meetings to family reunions. As a result, the appetite for and readiness to turn to solutions like video banking has dramatically increased.
For customers, they can instantly get help with their banking decisions with a personal, human connection that can’t be replicated by a chatbot or website. They can carry out complex transactions and get all of their questions answered, all while spending less time waiting and without having to show up in person.
For financial institutions, fewer employees are required to facilitate more transactions and serve more customers. Employees can often accomplish more, even when working from home, and adding next-gen ATMs with video banking functionality means that you can reduce branch hours, saving on the costs of keeping a physical location open.
As we all adjust to the new normal, many financial institutions are reworking their physical and digital footprint to better meet the needs of the market. Technology is at the center of this work, enabling new ways of connecting with customers and helping them help themselves. Budget cuts at banks and credit unions are leading to more branch closures, but this increases the pressure on the locations that remain open to operate more efficiently and not impact overall service levels for customers.
Beyond next-gen ATMs and video banking options, financial institutions are turning to better equipment to increase the efficiency of the staff they already have. For example, teller cash recyclers (TCRs) and teller cash dispensers (TCDs) can greatly improve teller efficiency, but you need to have a firm handle on maintenance to make sure that these workhorse machines don’t unexpectedly break down at an inconvenient time.
As self-service becomes a larger part of the picture for banks and credit unions, an increased emphasis will be placed on making sure that your equipment is up-to-date and working efficiently. Any snag will result in a massive inconvenience for your customers and, ultimately, impact your bottom line. In these uncertain times, Equips handles all of your equipment services and replacement needs to make sure that everything is under control and you know how much you’re spending.
Equips is revolutionizing how Banks and Credit Unions manage, maintain, and protect critical branch equipment. Leveraging a network of 500+ vendors, experts at Equips help Financial Institutions respond to equipment problems quickly in one place: Equips. Active management allows Financial Institutions of all sizes to improve operational efficiency, cut costs, and streamline equipment inventory and vendor management. Our groundbreaking solution provides clients across 45 states with better insight and transparency into their critical equipment and enables employees to do their best work. To learn more visit equips.com.