Retail banks are facing a strategic mandate to improve customer engagement and reduce operating costs. This has led to a rethinking of the traditional bank branch and the role it plays. There is a drive to digitize the banking services delivered at the branch to enable a modern banking experience that keeps customers coming back. 

The Network’s Role in the Bank Branch

The network plays a major role in the new approach to branch banking. Existing data networks simply may not prove adequate to support the envisioned improvements to the banking customer experience. Why can’t current networks generally get the job done? For one thing, current network capacity may not suffice. The new branch experience requires a reliable, high performing network. The network needs to be resilient whenever issues do occur so as to ensure that the customer experience isn’t affected.

Cybersecurity also remains a concern. Every branch location has to comply with new regulations aimed at reducing risks and protecting customer data and assets as well as the bank’s reputation. Internet use and cloud application access, which are growing in branch locations, expose a point of vulnerability in the bank’s network. Network operating costs are also a key concern. Most institutions cannot support the staffing of IT functions at the branch level. To adhere to budgets, banks need to be able to monitor and manage their networks centrally without jeopardizing performance or security.

The Potential of SD-WAN in the Evolution of the Bank Branch

Today’s banks require an agile network that can adapt to their evolving requirements and enable the next generation banking customer experience while staying within budget. The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) offers a potential solution. SD-WAN helps banks resolve many of the networking challenges they face today at their branch locations. It does this by applying virtualization functions to an existing wide area network so it becomes application-aware and runs more efficiently. SD-WAN enables a high degree of network flexibility, stronger security and potential cost savings for banks that are transforming their branches.

We’ve recently launched a new Executive Brief on Next-Generation Networking for Modern Retail Bank Branches. Download it to learn more about how SD-WAN helps address many of the top challenges that institutions are facing today with their branch transformation strategies.

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