OCBC INVESTS $14 MILLION IN DIGITAL BRANCHES: Major Singapore-based bank OCBC is investing $14 million over the next two years to deploy its newly developed ATMs and digital kiosks to select branches, according to Finextra. The kiosks, which will initially be deployed to 35 bank branches by 2020, allow customers to make the 15 most common over-the-counter bank transactions including depositing cash, withdrawing cash above the daily ATM limit, and selecting what bank notes they want to receive. They will also include facial and fingerprint recognition scanners for biometric authentication in lieu of signatures. Seven in 10consumers in Singapore use digital banking, giving banks the ability to free up funds by investing less in branches. But if other developed markets are any indication, there’s likely a noteable share of the population that prefers branch banking or other functionality. That makes OCBC’s hybrid approach a smart one, since it allows it to integrate digital offerings, which are often less expensive and more efficient than human-based branches, into their physical channels. Banks globally have been making similar changes: Bank of America is testing humanless hybrid branches to continue engaging consumers without spending as much, while simultaneously meeting digital needs. And HSBC is piloting Pepper, SoftBank’s humanoid robot, in its flagship New York branch to answer customer questions, inform users about various products and services, and offer information about self-service banking options such as ATMs or the bank’s app.