The most innovative and top-notch bank branches with stunning design from all around the globe
We all know that mobile-only (online) banks and their apps are steadily yet slowly replacing conventional brick-and-mortar bank branches, making major financial institutions feel uncomfortable. At first glance, there is only one way out for large banks – they must move with the times, meaning restructuring the old scheme and order, and offer clients the same quality, convenience or better, which is not that easy. New age banks seem to be more tech-savvy and flexible. However, some of the old-school banks have found a different way to fulfill the needs of their customers, and that is one of the options on how to keep up the pace. And we are talking about remodeling old and dull branches into modern, innovative, and more convenient ones.
Before we go any further, let’s see some statistics. According to research by CARAVAN Omnibus Surveys (ORC International), no less than 88% of American adults said that they still need bricks-and-mortar branches when it comes to banking service. Moreover, around 80% of them said that they believe they will claim the same even after three or four years. Even though it is not the most reliable data (it feels more like an assumption), it still shows us the actual situation anyhow.
We can’t deny that online banking is now developing extremely rapidly, but we also cannot deny the fact that the banking industry is one of those areas that involve really personal and sometimes sensitive issues (for example, a lot of people still prefer personal contact, when it comes to lending or debt issues). So, here’s what else the answers of interviewees showed:
- 84% want access to a live person to discuss banking needs, 84% also expect to need the same five years from now
- 86% currently use online access for bill paying and functions such as transferring funds and 88% foresee doing the same in the future
- 68% use paper checks to make payments, and 62% foresee doing the same in five years
On the other hand, at least 70% of interviewees noted that they don’t deny the convenience of mobile banking apps, and they use (or are going to use) them. What’s more, they said mobile-only apps are quite important in the current banking environment. Indeed, most of them said that physical branches and mobile functionality are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they should go hand in hand.
So, where does that leave us? Consumers certainly take advantage of new technologies that streamline regular everyday tasks and facilitate on-the-go/on-the-run interaction with financial services. Nevertheless, most customers are not ready to abandon face-to-face interaction with a live person altogether, especially when it comes to debt/investments/mortgages issues. Thus, bank branches will still be in demand. But outdated and obsolete dim branches that can’t fulfill the basic needs of customers, well, that’s another question. And the modernizing, and innovating old and inflexible/inconvenient branches with long lines and a couple of ATMs is a very right and timely decision.
So, let’s behold the old-school banking industry response.
Top 5 bank branches
1. Banco Galicia – Branch Network
Banco Galicia is considered to be one of the biggest financial institutions in Argentina. The bank can afford a new modern branch with multi-functional spaces, lounges and community tables. The branch also provides rooms for informal meetings, self-service stations, and free Wi-Fi areas. The designers have decided to move from old-school/traditional office desks to flexible and modern working spaces.
2. CaixaBank – imaginCafé
imaginCafé is located in Barcelona, and basically, it is a supportive unit of CaixaBank’s imaginBank brand, which is a mobile-only spinoff targeted at the younger audience. The major idea was to create space for both online and offline interaction between young people in a relaxed atmosphere.
As the branch’s developers have said, they wanted to create a favorable environment for “young creators”, engaged in IT, technology, music, and other creative areas.
imaginCafé is a three-story facility, with a food/drink zone, exhibition spaces, and large screens. The entire complex can host no less than 250 visitors.
3. DBS – Tech Lifestyle Space
Singapore DBS has created an extraordinary space for the creative tech generation. The creators aim to stick to the “café+branch” concept.
But the cafe and fresh coffee are not the only innovative features of this branch. DBS can offer an amazing VR corner for retirement planning, advanced ATMs with video guidance, and a robot Pepper, the humanoid robot, which is intended to help clients.
4. BNZ – Branch Network
This New Zealand bank has introduced its new branch with uniquely identifiable design in order to make clients feel more comfortable while solving banking issues. BNZ’s new branch provides a wide range of services in the most convenient way. Moreover, it is equipped with stand-up areas, self-service stations, semi-private cubbies, and fully-private meeting spaces, which facilitate the work process.
5. Virgin Money – Haymarket Lounge
Virgin Money is a big player in the market. However, the financial institution is also known for its unique lounges. The bank has one of the most comfortable, convenient, interesting, and stimulating lounge zones in the banking world.
Just a short walk from Piccadilly Circus, the Haymarket Lounge offers customers the opportunity to relax, watch TV, or browse a range of Virgin Money information on a huge interactive touchscreen display.
In addition to advanced banking technologies, this branch offers a zone with actual airliner seats, where you can feel very special atmosphere, taking into account Virgin’s history in aviation.