Branch Transformation Isn't About Superficial Design

by PaymentsJournal 0

Branch banking today is highly competitive. Banks and credit unions must design branches skillfully with customer experience and return on investment (ROI) foremost in mind. Community engagement, brand loyalty, and the incorporation of technology are all indicators of an institution’s relevance, and crucial for branch success. Simply put, the renovation of financial branches is no longer a cosmetic affair. What was once a matter of choosing the right carpets and wall color has now become a major undertaking requiring industry expertise and the coordination of numerous disciplines. A modern branch upgrade is an exercise in efficiency and cost-saving due to advances in cash handling equipment, interface redesigns, and banking communications technology. For most, if not all, of today’s branches, these renovations are first generation. All of the considerations discussed below must be properly mapped out to project realistic hurdle rates and payback periods. For instance, a branch footprint can be overestimated if mobile apps are promoted after a branch is designed. Up to 30% of transactions may be transferred to apps, reducing the spatial requirements. This paper helps guide those without the requisite knowledge to a fuller understanding of which branch elements are of value to customers, and the ways in which these elements can be configured for optimal return on investment. The focus is on community banks and credit unions in New England.

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