Universal Associates Role in Banking
By W. Michael Scott
July 11, 2014
BAI Banking Strategies Article: No Universal Rollout for Universal Associates
"With the continued accelerated adoption of non-branch channels such as mobile and the web, banks
are facing the fact that branch traffic may not uptick anytime soon, if ever. This reduction in traffic not only results in lower transaction volumes
but also reduces opportunities for selling – and the customer engagement that fosters account-holder loyalty.
In such a scenario, it isn’t cost effective to have personnel dedicated to a single role, such as teller, lobby service representative and/or sales associate. Often, it makes better sense to utilize universal associates (UAs), individuals specially trained to perform multiple roles in an equally competent fashion.
Unfortunately, this strategy is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach for either branches or personnel. A universal employee banking model
is more complex to implement and manage than traditional staffing models. Furthermore, UAs command higher wages due to their skill level and ability to juggle many duties with ease, which requires banks to structure their UA programs for maximum efficiency. Doing so keeps reduced-volume branches
viable and productive and can increase product penetration and customer engagement."
Read the full article here